E-mail Us

Washington, DC Area - 240.499.5613  

  » Home
  » Bio & Photo
  » CV & Publications
  » Key Areas of Expertise
  » Additional Areas of Expertise
  » Contact
  » Useful Links
  » Other Resources


Reclined Seat Hazards, Warnings & Alternative Designs


Passengers riding in Reclined Seats while the vehicle is in motion is a continuing and serious safety hazard that has been under-reported and largely ignored by the official safety community. Safety Expert Mr. David J. Biss has himself consulted on over 30 Reclined Seat Cases; and, a number of other safety consultants have had similar numbers of such cases which would easily place the national numbers of horrible injuries in the hundreds. There is no systematic program at the U.S. DOT, or at any other entity, to count the number of deaths and serious injuries caused by reclining while riding. While the Car Industry, and to some extent the Government, shun responsibility for this hazard by saying “It is common sense;” and, "Everyone knows it is dangerous;” and, “It is spelled out in the Owner’s Manual,” the car companies continue to show reclined seats while their cars are in motion in their advertisements, at the same time these pass-the-buck excuses for inactivity are continuing to be given.


List of Reclined Injury Cases -

Expert David J. Biss

(click for pdf)

Expert David J. Biss has consulted on over 30 death or serious injury Reclined Seat Cases with Verdicts or Settlements to provide enough compensation to relieve some loses of victims and survivors.  But money can never restore the paralyzed and torn bodies caused by this hazard, nor adequately compensate family members for the loss of their providers and loved ones.  In fact, some horribly injured victims have offered to return large portions of their awards if only the car companies would properly warn their customers of the hazards of riding with their seats reclined.


The following videos provide graphic examples of the horrific Injuries that can and do occur due to the uninformed and unwarned about hazards of reclined seats – while the vehicle is in motion. Expert David J. Biss was the Trial Expert in each of the tragic cases profiled in these videos.


Reclined Seat Victim Stories






Marikay Lupo -

Victim of Reclined Seat


Tami Martin - Victim of Reclined Seat






David J Biss Interview on the

Hazards of Reclined Seats




Car Company TV Ads

Showing Riding Reclined


The tragic injuries caused by reclined seats are well known to the “Liability Loss Managers” Inside the car companies. However, despite their claims that “Everyone Knows,” apparently there are enough of their employees and/or contractors who either do not know, or who otherwise knowingly and persuasively encourage dangerous behavior, that the car companies still run advertisements promoting the reclining of the rider’s seat while the car is in motion.



David J. Biss and his company /asa/ have designed and developed, as part of an interdisciplinary team, Warnings/Instruction/Reminder Systems to alert car passengers to the hazards of reclining their seat backs while the vehicle is in motion. A sample of these designs follow:



Reclined Seat Warning System Designed

& Built by /asa/ in a Ford Windstar



(click to enlarge)




Interdisciplinary Design of Reclined Seat Warning/Instruction/Reminder



Copyright, David J. Biss – /asa/, 2007



Synthesized Voice Warning in a Production Car


An example of an Effective Warning for a Reclined Seat is the Synthesized Voice Warning in the 1986 Chrysler New Yorker – While this version is a Seat Belt Warning; easily reworded, it would work just as well, or even better, as a Reclined Seat Warning.