California residents may think that the rear seats of their vehicle are safer because they are away from the windshield and dashboard, but this is not necessarily true. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has called rear seats a "danger zone" and has pointed out several areas of deficiency.
First, there is a lack of rear seatbelts with force limiters. These devices release extra belt webbing to mitigate the force with which the belt cinches up to the passenger to hold him or her in place. The second concern is that rear seats do not have forward airbags, though it may not be long before these are developed. Third, seats do not have side curtain airbags to prevent passengers from hitting hard surfaces.
Another problem has to do with front seats collapsing, sending the occupant backward in a collision. The risk is that the front-seat passengers will collide head-first into the rear-seat passengers. Back in 2016, Audi had to pay out $125 million to a family whose boy suffered brain damage when his head hit against his father's head in a collision.
Still, children are relatively safer in the back than up front since the front airbags may deploy too forcefully for them. Rear-facing child seats should be used while the child can fit in them.
Those who get in a car crash may wonder who was to blame. If the other side was negligent, then they may be able to pursue a case under car accident law. Or, they may file their claim against the automaker for a defective product like a collapsing front seat. Whatever the situation, victims may want to consult with a lawyer. If retained, the lawyer might hire investigators and other experts to gather proof against the defendant and measure the extent of injuries.