Almost everyone has fallen asleep as a passenger on a long car trip. Personally, I get the most comfort on road-trips by reclining my seat all the way back. You’re bound to doze off anyway, so why not maximize your comfort before you fall asleep?
Sleeping in the Car
There’s a very good reason not to recline your seat: doing so can dramatically increase your risk of serious injury or death in a vehicle accident.
The common misconception is that individuals are protected as long as their seat belt is buckled. When the seat is reclined, only the lap belt portion of the safety belt is in the correct place. The shoulder strap remains in place while the passenger’s torso reclines back with the seat. In the event of an accident, the passenger will likely be slammed forcefully into the shoulder strap, causing injuries that would not have occurred if the passenger had been in an upright position.
Though there are statistics on the dangers of reclined seats, car companies continue to build vehicles with them. It is up to consumers to be aware of the dangers, and to not allow passengers in their vehicles to recline while the car is driven. Of course, if the vehicle is pulled over at a rest stop because the driver and passengers need a break from the road, then it’s perfectly safe, as well as comfortable to lay back and relax.