Automakers have done a lot to improve the safety of front seats, yet this has been to the detriment of rear seat safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, looking into frontal crashes that involved serious injuries or death for rear-seat passengers, now calls rear seats a “danger zone.” Its study points out several areas where rear seat safety is deficient, and Virginia residents may want to know what these are.

Rear seats do not come with forward airbags, for example, though some automakers are developing these. Few have side curtain airbags to keep passengers from being hurt on hard surfaces. These seats are also deficient in not having force limiters for their seatbelts. Force limiters unspool webbing from the belt to give passengers more room even while the belt tightens against them for protection.

The IIHS study also mentions that some front seats have a weak back that causes them to collapse in an accident. This puts rear-seat passengers at risk because the front-seat passenger may slide back and collide with them.

This happened to one family; their son incurred brain damage as a result, and in 2016, Audi paid out $125 million in damages because of the defect. Children are usually safer in the rear, though, because forward airbags can deploy with too much force.

Whether it’s a defective auto part or a negligent driver that causes or contributes to a motor vehicle accident, victims who are not to blame may be eligible for compensation. Virginia follows the rule of pure contributory negligence, which means defendants must be 100% at fault in order for plaintiffs to recover damages. To ensure that their case meets this strict standard, victims might want to consult with a lawyer and hire him or her for settlement negotiations and more.