Car safety is always an ongoing issue when it comes to research studies, whether the studies come from the automobile or insurance industries, or some other organization looking out for your protection and safety.

Now we’re told that sitting in the back seat is risky when it comes to safety. You could be more at risk of dying or suffering serious injury in a head-on collision than someone sitting in the front. That finding comes from a study made by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which found that rear passengers often lack sufficient protections in frontal crashes.

In some cases, poorly engineered seat belts are killing or badly injuring back-seat passengers while front-seat passengers in the same vehicle survive or avoid serious injury. IIHS is putting the information from the study to work in designing a crash test that will assess the safety of rear-seat passengers in new vehicles, according to USA TODAY newspaper, which reported the story.

David Harkey, IIHS president, told the newspaper that automakers have done a great job at improving restraint systems for drivers and front-seat passengers, but less attention has been paid to the back seat and the safety of those passengers. One reason is that rear seatbelts are not made with the same care as front seats.

The study addressed the impact of 117 deadly real-world crashes on older children and adults who were wearing seat belts. Experts continue to recommend that young children be strapped into car seats in the back and not seated in the front, where powerful airbags pose the threat of injury, according to the newspaper. In some cases, back-seat passengers are suffering chest injuries from belts that are too tight, while in other,s their heads are smashing into the seat.

Harkey said the results suggest that it’s time for automakers to consider front airbags in the back seat. The newspaper article noted no vehicle currently has them.

IIHS said that automakers could consider inflatable seat belts, such as ones introduced by Ford and Mercedes-Benz.

Safety studies conducted by experts in their respective professional fields deserve attention. We suspect the study made by IIHS will receive careful attention in the automobile industry.