Parents looking for a new vehicle may consider one with three rows of seats. While these are popular choices for larger families because they provide eight to nine seats, there’s little known about how safe these vehicles are compared to the traditional two-row vehicles.
There are a few safety factors that parents should consider when they’re trying to determine which, if any, of these vehicles are suitable for their family.
While it’s not something that most people would consider, anyone looking at third-row vehicles should find out if the side curtain airbags extend to the third-row seat. These can provide considerable impact protection if the vehicle is sideswiped or involved in a T-bone crash.
The seatbelts in the third row should all be three-point harnesses. If you have young children or will be expanding your family, you should find a vehicle with the LATCH system connectors for child safety seats. One thing to consider if you have children in car seats is that it can be difficult to properly install the seat because of the design of third-row vehicles. Getting the children strapped in and taken out of the vehicle can also be more difficult.
The headrests are another vital safety feature for third-row vehicles. These should reach at least to the top of the passenger’s ears and be positioned as close to the back of the head as possible. This can help prevent neck injuries, including whiplash, during a rear-end crash.
Even in the safest vehicles on the market, it’s still possible that passengers will suffer injuries if they’re involved in a crash. The medical care and related expenses can be considerable. Seeking compensation for these is possible, but you need to act quickly because of time limits built into personal injury laws.