NEW YORK (CBS NEWS) – A new survey reveals more than a quarter of adults admit they don’t always buckle up in the back seat.
Research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that 91 percent of adults say they always wear their seat belt in the front seat, but only 72 percent are just as diligent in the rear.
People who don’t wear their seat belts account for about half of all deaths in car crashes each year, reports CBS News’ Kris Van Cleave.
The report out Thursday shows how effective seat belt laws and safety education have been in getting folks up front to buckle up – but not in the back.
“I always put my seat belt on if I’m driving, if I’m in the front seat of a car,” said Mark Smiga, a New York City taxi passenger.
Yet Smiga says he never buckles up in the back of a cab – a place especially prone to people riding unbelted.
The survey by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows just 57 percent of passengers buckle up in hired vehicles like taxis.
“It’s absolutely not even part of my consciousness,” Smiga said.
“When we asked people why they were less likely to buckle up, a quarter of the respondents told us that it’s safer in the back seat, so they don’t need to buckle up,” said Jessica Jermakian, an IIHS senior research engineer.