Study: 1 in 5 backseat passengers don’t buckle up

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Federal safety officials are making a new push to get people to buckle up in the backseat.

Department of Transportation data shows more than 22 percent of backseat passengers don’t buckle up on a regular basis. The numbers are even worse when it comes to taxi passengers.

In 2013, 55 percent of backseat passengers killed in crashes were not wearing seat belts, but only 28 states require adults in the back to buckle up. Rhode Island is one of those states.

“People are just as likely to be injured or killed in the backseat if they’re not wearing those seat belts as they are in the front seat,” said Deborah Hersman of the National Safety Council.

The Department of Transportation says people not wearing a seat belt are 30 times more likely to be ejected from a vehicle during a crash. On top of that, more than three out of four people who are ejected during a crash die from their injuries.

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