Reclining a seat while riding in an automobile increases a passenger's risk of suffering serious, perhaps fatal, injuries during an accident. Interest groups argue that when a seat is reclined, three-point restraints (lap/shoulder belts) become less effective, if not useless, because the shoulder belt moves away from the passenger. The farther away a passenger sits from a restraint, the more likely it is that he or she will suffer severe injuries during a collision.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found in the late 1980s that warning manuals in vehicles do not effectively alert passengers to the potential dangers of reclining a seat. During its study, the NTSB examined 167 collisions involving passengers wearing three-point belts. The safety agency discovered that in at least three instances, injuries sustained by passengers sitting in a reclined seat would have been avoided if the seat had been upright. Due to effective lobbying from auto manufacturers, however, changes were never made.
Interest groups say simple modifications, such as the addition of a warning inside the vehicle or seat belts
that stay in position even when the seat is reclined, may save hundreds of lives.
If you have been injured because of a reclined seat, it may be important to contact an attorney
who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits
within which you must commence suit.
- Seat Design
- Broken Back: Overview
- Broken Bones: Overview
- Coma: Overview
- Dislocation: Overview
- Head & Brain Injury
- Joints & Muscles: Overview
- Scars: Overview
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Wounds: Overview