Child car seats and recline positions

At BeSafe, we’re aware of the questions raised regarding child car seats’ function to allow children various sitting angles and its effect on the safety performance of the seat. We’d like to help you understand by providing an overview of facts regarding this.

Recline positions in toddler seats

  • Basically all toddler seats in the markets today offer the function to change the sitting angle of the seat to improve the child’s comfort
  • Having adjustable recline positions has been implemented in child car seats since at least the 1990s
  • A child seat’s and dummy’s behaviour in a crash situation is different when sitting at different angles
  • But it cannot be generalized that a recline function always leads to worse crash test results. This depends on a lot of details in the construction of the individual child seat. We have seen that in some cases when reclined the neck forces are just as good or even slightly better than when upright.
  • The different behaviour and forces in different sitting positions are also tested in the bi-yearly consumer test by Stiftung Warentest, for which ADAC executes the crash test and consumer organisations across Europe purchase the results to publish in their country
  • In the frontal impact, ADAC tests the seats in both upright and reclined position, and the published results show an average of their values combined

BeSafe iZi Twist i-Size

At BeSafe, we crash test our seats of course in both upright and reclined positions during the development. We are setting very high demands on ourselves in terms of the values that we consider acceptable for our products.

The outcome of that can be seen for example in the ADAC/Stiftung Warentest results of iZi Twist i-Size, which achieved a frontal impact score of 1.4, which would fall into the rating classification of “Very Good”.

Likewise, iZi Modular RF + base achieved a score of 1.7, and the combi seat iZi Modular X1 + base (where also the forward facing position is tested and part of the result) achieved 2.0 in a frontal impact – both scores falling into the rating classification of “Good”.