Report: Seatback failures put Nevada drivers, passengers at risk

According to reports, seatbacks in numerous vehicles may fail and collapse in some rear-end collisions, which may result in serious injuries or death.

Auto accidents are all too common in Nevada and elsewhere. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 290 people killed in motor vehicle crashes across the state in 2014, and many more people suffered serious injuries. Sometimes, such wrecks are caused when one vehicle hits another from behind. Based on a recent report, rear-end collisions may lead to seatback failures, which may put passengers and drivers at risk of being injured.

Seatback failures are a common danger

Despite safety guidelines, a significant auto defect may exist in many vehicle makes and models, even those that have received a five-star safety rating. According to CBS News, experts warn that car seats may collapse when automobiles are struck from behind. Consequently, the person seated in the failed seat may be launched into the backseat. This may result in that person suffering serious injuries, or in him or her injuring the rear seat passengers. Additionally, the seatback may hit passengers in the backseat, which could cause head trauma, among other serious injuries.

Demands for action

As the number of people who are injured or killed due to this type of auto defect increases, automotive safety experts are pushing for changes. They suggest the current safety testing guidelines are too lax. In order to test the strength of car seats, a brace is placed across the seat and is attached to a winch. The winch pulls back on the brace, placing pressure on the seat. While this may seem an adequate testing method, CBS News reports that even a banquet chair meets the federal standard. Unfortunately, the NHTSA says these types of accidents are rare and there is not enough data on the issue to warrant a change to the strength standards.

Additionally, safety experts recommend that auto makers strengthen their seats. According to CBS News, car companies have said this would only cost approximately $2 to fix. However, the resounding opinion among auto makers who have addressed the issue publically is that their seats meet or exceed the safety standards. Therefore, they do not feel pressured or called to make the changes.

Seeking legal counsel

When seatback failures occur in Nevada, people may suffer serious injuries, including concussions, broken bones or even paralysis. Consequently, they may incur undue medical expenses, and their ability to work and provide for their families may be affected. In some circumstances, the at fault driver, auto maker or both may be held financially responsible. Thus, it may be helpful for those who have experienced such situations to discuss their case with an attorney. A lawyer may help them determine if their injuries were due to an auto defect, as well as explain their options for pursuing financial compensation.