Studies have shown time and time again that children in rear-facing car seats are safer when in car crashes. A new study, though, has shown that some head injuries are possible in these seats, despite the overall higher level of safety provided. The study, published in the Journal of Traffic Injury Prevention, has shown that crash-test dummies in rear-facing car seats could suffer serious head injuries as the seat moves toward the back of the car in an accident.
The study also found that using the LATCH anchors to tie down the seat led to more severe injuries than using the standard seat belt. What this comes down to is physics. When the impact occurs, the child first is stopped by the rear-facing seat, preventing him or her from being thrown to the front of the vehicle. However, since the base of the car seat is not secured from front to back, the seat thrusts forward toward the back of the vehicle. This creates a situation in which the child’s head could impact the back seat, causing injuries.
Keeping children in rear-facing seats is still necessary and provides greater protection overall. Using a top tether, which holds the car seats to the vehicle floor, could prevent the tilt that caused the head injuries in the test dummies.
Should your children stay in a rear-facing seat? Children are five times safer facing the rear. For as long as it’s safe to do so, children do benefit from facing the rear, especially in front-end and side-impact crashes.
This interesting study shows the importance of safety in any vehicle with children inside. If you’re hit and your child suffers an injury, you’re not alone. Our website has more information on how you can get the compensation you need.