It was once the standard answer to the question of which seat is safest to be in when a car crash takes place. That standard answer: the back seat. But what was true for decades has shifted in recent years, according to researchers.

Because of the advances in seatbelt technology, and because those advances are more often relegated to the belts in the fronts of vehicles, the back seat is not always the safest place to be in a motor vehicle crash in 2019.

Safety researchers point out that modern seatbelts are connected to sensors that tighten the belts when crashes are imminent. These so-called load-limiting seatbelts can also loosen a bit when a passenger applies so much pressure to the belt that the belt itself might cause injuries in a wreck.

If the more sophisticated belts are not available in the back seat of a vehicle, researchers with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommend that passengers 55 or older sit in the front of new vehicles with the safer seatbelts.

A new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found after investigating frontal crashes that resulted in fatalities or serious injuries to 117 rear-seat passengers, that those in vehicles without the better backseat belts suffered chest, abdominal or spinal injuries.

“There was evidence of significant seatbelt forces on the chest of occupants of all ages,” a researcher said.

Those who are hurt in a wreck caused by a careless or reckless driver have the right to pursue full compensation for all damages with the help of a qualified Jonesboro personal injury attorney.