Back-seat passengers in Uber, Lyft, ride-hailing vehicles face germs, safety risks

While germs, in some cases, could just make you sick, vehicle safety is often a matter of life or death.

And sitting in the back seat in a ride-hailing vehicle or any other car could put you at risk.

“We think it’s now time to think about focusing on the rear seat,” said David Harkey, president of IIHS. “There’s the potential that we’re going to have a lot more people riding in rear seats as we move forward and therefore greater risk of injury to rear seat passengers.”

Uber’s Hasbun said the company urges riders to buckle up and supports efforts to improve vehicle safety.

The problem is that back-seat seatbelts are often poorly engineered, according to IIHS. Those seatbelts lack adequate pre-tensioners to protect passengers, while back-seat passengers could potentially benefit from more airbags, IIHS reported.