Study explores safety of rear-facing car seats in rear impact car crashes

April 03, 2018

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Rear-facing car seats have been shown to significantly reduce infant and toddler fatalities and injuries in frontal and side-impact crashes, but they're rarely discussed in terms of rear-impact collisions. Because rear-impact crashes account for more than 25 percent of all accidents, researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center conducted a new study to explore the effectiveness of rear-facing car seats in this scenario.

"It's a question that parents ask me a lot, because they are concerned about the child facing the impact of the crash," said Julie Mansfield, lead author of the study and research engineer at Ohio State College of Medicine's Injury Biomechanics Research Center. "It shows parents are really thinking about where these impacts are coming from."

Mansfield and her team conducted crash tests with multiple rear-facing car seats, investigating the effects of various features like the carry handle position and anti-rebound bars. The study, which is published in SAE International, shows that when used correctly, all were effective because they absorbed crash forces while controlling the motion of the child, making rear-facing car seats a good choice in this scenario.

"Even though the child is facing the direction of the impact, it doesn't mean that a rear-facing car seat isn't going to do its job," said Mansfield. "It still has lots of different features and mechanisms to absorb that crash energy and protect the child."

Mansfield says what they found aligns well with what is known from crash data in the real world, and it's important for parents to follow the recommended guidelines on the correct type of car seat for their child's height, weight and age.

"The rear-facing seat is able to support the child's head, neck and spine and keep those really vulnerable body regions well protected. These regions are especially vulnerable in the newborns and younger children whose spine and vertebrae haven't fused and fully developed yet," said Mansfield.
-end-
This research was funded by the Center for Child Injury Prevention Studies (CChIPS) at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center

Related Parents Articles from Brightsurf:

Why do so many parents avoid talking about race?
BU social psychologists share ways adults can overcome their own assumptions and discomfort to talk honestly about race with children.

Teens who think their parents are loving are less likely to be cyberbullies
Adolescents who perceive their parents to be loving and supportive are less likely to engage in cyberbullying, according to a new study by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing.

Is spanking of children by parents less common?
ChangesĀ over 25 years in how common spanking of children was by parents in the United States are examined in this study.

Parents twice as likely to be concerned about ticks than of mosquitoes
When it comes to bug bites, parents are twice as likely to be concerned about ticks as they are about mosquitoes transmitting disease, a new national poll finds.

Older beetle parents 'less flexible'
Older parents are less flexible when it comes to raising their offspring, according to a new study of beetles.

Marijuana use may not make parents more 'chill'
Sorry, marijuana moms and dads: Using pot may not make you a more relaxed parent, at least when it comes to how you discipline your children.

Becoming new parents increases produce purchases
In the United States, both children and adults eat too few fruits and vegetables, which puts them at risk for poor diet quality and adverse health consequences.

Why parents should teach their kids to give
Teaching children how to appropriately give money away can help them develop valuable financial skills such as budgeting, and it may also contribute to their well-being later in life, according to a study led by the University of Arizona.

Parents unknown
Animals in hard-to-reach places, especially strange, 'unattractive,' animals, may completely escape our attention.

Most parents say hands-on, intensive parenting is best
Most parents say a child-centered, time-intensive approach to parenting is the best way to raise their kids, regardless of education, income or race.

Read More: Parents News and Parents Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.