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Unbelted Backseat Passengers Produce Deadly Results

kseat passenger on the driver's side would receive severe or fatal injury, but the belted driver was not at greater risk for injury.

The results, published in the Journal of Trauma, validate previous findings by Mayrose and co-researchers that were based on analysis of data from nearly 300,000 fatal crashes over seven years and on preliminary sled tests. Mayrose points out that seat-belt use has increased significantly over the years, reaching 82 percent compliance in 2005, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. But most seat-belt laws for adults, including New York State law, do not require adult rear-seat passengers to buckle up.

"Based on our results, state law should mandate that everyone in the vehicle must wear a safety belt, no matter where they sit," Mayrose concludes. The tests were performed at Calspan's Hydraulic Control Gas Energizer (HYGE) Sled Test Facility in Buffalo. The study was funded in part by a grant from the Federal Highway Administration to CUBRC and its Center for Transportation Injury Research (CenTIR). Mayrose and co-researcher Alan Blatt are affiliated CenTIR researchers. Co-researchers David P. Roberts, Michael J. Kilgallon and Robert A. Galganski are based at Calspan.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the State University of New York. CUBRC, an independent, not-for-profit, research and development corporation, is headquartered in Buffalo and has expanded its facilities and operations to UB's New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences. CUBRC partners with private companies and academic institutions, to apply innovative research, rigorous testing and robust engineering to deliver cutting-edge science and technology solutions to its customers.

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