A new study commissioned by the Governors Highway Safety Association finds that people are significantly less likely to buckle up in the back seat.
And that means people are dying in traffic accidents that they might otherwise survive.
Researcher James Hedlund says of the 883 unrestrained rear seat passenger fatalities in 2013, more than 400 would likely have survived had they buckled up.
Michigan has a "primary" seat belt law that allows police to stop a vehicle and cite the driver solely for the offense of not wearing a seat belt. Some other states have a "secondary" law, which permits tickets for not wearing seat belts only if the vehicle is stopped for another reason. Hedlund's study shows that nationally, belt use by adult rear seat passengers is only 78%, compared to 87% for the front seat, based on the latest observational data. The discrepancy is even more pronounced in motor vehicle crashes involving a fatality: 60% rear belt use, versus 74% in the front.