Rear-facing child safety seats have long been recommended for children up until the age of two, or until they reach the height and weight requirement. This is due to crash test studies, as well as data collected from actual car crashes. Recent American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines has revised the recommendation of 2 years old, telling parents that if they are able (due to the weight of the child and limits of the car seat) keeping your child rear-facing as long as possible is the best way to keep them safe.
Is Rear-Facing Really Safer?
Even with the recommendations, many have wondered if rear-facing car seats would still hold up and keep their children safe in a rear-impact crash. Up until recently, crash test studies involving rear-facing car seats have been done mostly on front and side-impact crashes, with little if any data on how seats situated like this would fair in a rear-impact crash.
Many speculated that, because front-impact crashes send the vehicle inhabitants forward (toward the front of the vehicle), that a rear-impact crash would send them backward (toward the back of the vehicle). This brought up concerns of children facing backward, possibly not being as protected in rear-impact crashes, as their bodies would be thrown in a forward position toward the back of the car.
To put these worries to rest, researchers conducted a study to find how rear-facing car seats faired in rear-impact crashes.
What the Study Found
In the study, researchers performed a series of rear-impact crash tests using four infant car seats commonly used in the U.S. and put them in rear-facing positions in the back seat with crash test dummies seated in them.
As opposed to what people thought, the crash test dummy did not go forward (which, in this case, is toward the back of the car) when the car was hit from behind. Instead, the car seat protected the crash test dummy well, with most of the crash energy being absorbed through the car seat interacting with the vehicle seat. The crash test dummy was actually cradled in the car seat, distributing forces evenly throughout the child’s back, preventing serious injuries.
What This Means for You and Your Child
Parents are always looking for ways to protect their children from harm, and this is just one more way to do it. Accidents can and do happen, and doing this simple thing for your child could mean the difference between being badly injured or even killed in an accident, and being safely cradled through what could have been something very tragic. However, even when properly buckled into a car seat, children can sustain serious injuries in a car accident.
No parent wants to see their child go through pain, but if a crash has resulted in an injury for your child, contact our seasoned Appleton car accident lawyers to determine if you may be owed compensation. In many cases, parents can seek damages for any and all losses related to the crash, including lost wages to ensure the child makes it to their medical appointments. Call 920-739-7366 and schedule a free consultation to learn more.