As families expand, many drivers resort to larger vehicles for their daily commutes or the annual family vacation. However, does extra room mean there is a lower risk for injuries during a car accident?

The answer depends on the type of accident and the seating arrangement. Currently, there isn’t much research available on real-world crash data and the third-row seating for certain crashes – such as rear impact – according to the Consumer Report. 

For frontal impact, it’s a strong liklihood there is less risk of injury (which is great for parents who rely on the third row for their children). But the risk could dramatically shift if the impact comes from the rear.

Easy tips to protect younger passengers

Due to the limited research, it’s best for parents to take additional precautions to ensure that any children or passengers in the third row are safe. Some simple guidelines include:

  • Ensuring each child is in the appriorate car seat for their age and weight
  • Securing those car seats properly
  • Teaching children the importance of a seat belt, especially as they grow and no longer need an additional car seat
  • Double-checking any seatbelts or potential hazards in the backseat before taking your position in the driver’s seat
  • Providing additional safety information for kids in the car (i.e. not distracting the driver, keeping hands to yourself and do not unbuckle while the car is in motion)

As these tips are easy to implement and greatly increase the safety of any passenger in the car – no matter their location. If parents do find themselves in a rear-end collision, make sure to prioritze you and your children’s health and seek medicial attentnion before any additional action.