What are the dangers with seat defects?

Defective seat design can increase the severity of injuries which occur during an accident. There are several possible defects related to the seat in a vehicle, including, but not limited to: seat track failure, seat back failure, and inadequate head rests or the lack of head rests.

In a seat track failure, the locking mechanism that allows the seat to slide back and forth to accommodate drivers of different heights fails and moves forward, moving the seat toward the steering wheel.

Seat back failures can cause several different problems in a collision. A seat back failure can interfere with the restraint system, allowing vehicle occupants to impact rear seat objects in a rear-impact collision because they are not properly restrained. In some circumstances, the vehicle occupants can be completely ejected from the vehicle when they have slid out from under the safety restraints. A front seat collapse can injure the rear seat passengers in a rear-impact collision, and the rear seat occupants can become trapped underneath the collapsed seat back.

Inadequate head rests or the lack of rests can cause head injuries in both front and rear impact accidents because there is nothing to restrict the motion of the occupant’s head. In many pickup trucks, or the center rear position in numerous passenger cars, for example, there are no head rests.

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Graham Esdale

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