Vehicles | January 5, 2020 6:32 am

Plenty of Risks Accompany Not Using a Seatbelt in Taxis

Plenty of passengers traveling via taxi, Uber or Lyft don't buckle up in the back seat.

Automotive seatbelt testing
New efforts are underway to get taxi and ride-hailing vehicle passengers to use seatbelts while traveling in the back seat.
National Institute of Standards and Technology

Even the most safety-conscious automotive passengers can sometimes treat traveling by taxi as an entirely different experience than riding in a car with friends or family. When it comes to the latter, using a seatbelt goes without saying. When sitting in the back seat of a taxi or a car hailed via an app like Lyft or Uber, though, all bets are off.

A new report from The Washington Post serves as a wake-up call for those who engage in this behavior. Jenni Bergal writes about this phenomenon, citing one driver who’s found that “70 to 80 percent” of his passengers don’t buckle up while riding in the back seat of his car.

This is something that can lead to tragedy, as the case of an Oregon man killed while traveling via Uber last year demonstrates.

Bergal’s article explores the ways in which related industries and lawmakers are working to raise awareness of the safety hazards of traveling without a seatbelt. Uber has worked on making travelers more aware of the risks of leaving their belt unbuckled. There’s also an effort ongoing at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to implement some sort of warning system — though that’s been in the works for a while.

There are other methods available to increase back seat seatbelt usage as well — including laws on the books in 19 states and the District of Columbia requiring that passengers traveling there make use of them. Still, the process can seem like an uphill battle — but it’s one that will lead to a safer tomorrow.

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