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Safest seat.

Don't gripe if you get stuck in the middle. The car's center backseat is the safest spot in the event of a crash, according to a recent study.

Emergency-medicine scientists at the State University of New York in Buffalo analyzed nearly 35,000 car accidents. They found that middle backseat passengers were 16 percent more likely to survive than side backseat riders. One reason is that the middle seat has a larger "crush zone" around it. This area of the car collapses during a crash.

That crunching absorbs some of the car's energy of motion, or kinetic energy, and lessens the impact on the rider.

BUCKLE UP: Backseat passengers using seat belts were 2 to 3 times more likely to survive than were unbuckled ones.
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Title Annotation:motor vehicle accidents
Author:Hoff, Mary
Publication:Science World
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 9, 2006
Words:125
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