Rear-facing car seats are safer
Movie: "Trygg Trafikk" Norway/ Sound: HTS BeSafe
Frontal accidents are the most likely accidents and those where the forces are most severe
You never know when or how you are going to have an car accident. As a result, neither can you prepare or adjust the placement of passengers as a safety measure. Due to this, you should always calculate on a worst case scenario: a head-on collision. Frontal accidents are the most likely accidents and those where the forces are most severe. The best way to protect yourself in a head-on collision is to be seated rear facing.
Traveling with rear facing car seats will greatly reduce the stress on the neck
If the muscles in a child's neck are subject to too great a force, the consequences may be catastrophic. By being seated in a rear facing position you will greatly reduce the stress inflicted on the neck.
When a collision occurs at 50 km/h (31 mph) the stress inflicted on the neck of a child that weighs 15 kg and is seated in a forward facing position will be the equivalent of 180-220 kg. If the child instead is seated rear facing, the stress would be reduced to 40-60kg. At the same time the car seat will protect the child from debris flying around in the car.
Baby’s head represents a large part of total body weight
A child's body is not a copy of a grown person. It’s important to realize that your child is not a copy of you. The most essential difference is the size of the head. For a baby that is 5 months old, the head represents 25% of its body weight. For a grown person the head represents only 6%.
The statistics speak for themselves
Independent studies of real traffic accidents carried out by Volvo and Folksam show that your child, up to the age of 4 years, has a 5 times greater chance of surviving and/or avoiding serious injury if sitting rear facing rather than forward facing in the car. Traffic accident studies from Volvo show that amongst children sitting rear facing in the age group 0-4 years, only 8% was injured and needed medical assistance. For children sitting forward facing in the same age group, 40% of the children needed medical assistance.
Independent studies* of real traffic accidents show that your child, up to the age of 4 years, has a 5 times greater chance of surviving and/or avoiding serious injury if sitting rear facing rather than forward facing in the car.
* Source Volvo and Folksam
Rear facing 8% Forward facing 40%
This shows that rear facing car seat use is 5 times safer than forward facing seats.
Sweden is world leading when it comes to a child's safety in a car. In order to stay ahead they have introduced the Plus Test – one of the worlds most demanding tests for car seats. Not many seats have passed the Plus Test, all who have, has been rear facing.