Safety guidelines urge parents to always place children in
the back seat of a vehicle. But these recommendations might
not be so safe when it comes to some models of pickup trucks.
Many trucks provide an extended cab that allows additional
passengers to ride inside the vehicle behind the front seats,
usually on fold-down "jump" seats. Families may prefer these
models because of increased space, yet riding in the rear
seats of these trucks may be dangerous for your kids.
Crash injury data were collected from 1998 to 2000 from State
Farm Insurance claims involving over 7,000 vehicles and 11,000
children (age 15 or younger). Only 1990 and newer vehicles
were included in the study; passenger cars, sport utility
vehicles, vans, and pickup trucks (both extended-cab and regular
cab) were considered. The results of this study from the Journal
of the American Medical Association are disturbing:
- Children riding in compact, extended-cab pickup trucks
were approximately three times more likely to be injured
in a crash than children in all other vehicles.
- Children occupying the rear seats of these particular
trucks were almost five times as likely to be injured as
children in other vehicles.
- Even riding in the front seats of these trucks nearly
doubled risk for injury in children, compared to riding
in the front seats of other vehicles.
riding in compact extended-cab trucks may not be as safe as
children riding in other vehicles. Researchers concluded that
during crashes, collisions of children with the more confined
and less padded area, coupled with lap-only seatbelts, might
be the reason for more injuries. Parents with a choice of
vehicles should not transport children in compact extended-cab
trucks; children who must ride in these trucks may be safer
in the front seat.
Winston FK, Kallan MJ, Elliott MR, et al. Risk of injury
to child passengers in compact extended-cab pickup trucks.
Journal of the American Medical Association 2002:287(9),
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