Besides the popular ADAC, Stiftung Warentest and ÖAMTC tests for children’s car seats, there is another interesting test from Sweden, which should be considered for reboard child seats. Here we take a look at the extreme tests in detail.
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What is the Plus Test?
The Swedish Plus Test is voluntary for child car seat manufacturers and they need to register for it themselves. In Europe all car seats must comply with the regulation ECE R 44 or UN R 129. Any seat that successfully passes the Plus Test, complies with higher requirements as defined in the regulations.
What is special about the Plus Test compared to other test?
- Its measured what strain on the neck a crash causes
- The permissible limits for those impacts are significantly lower
- Only rearward-facing car seats can pass the test
- The crash test is carried out with a higher speed of 56.5 km/h
- The crash occurs with higher energy
BeSafe was the first company that has ever passed the Plus Test.
Watch: We test drive VTI driving simulator in Sweden
Forward and backward child seats compared
At the VTI Plus Test we could see the load of the neck of a forward and rearward facing child seat in a frontal crash. In the forward-facing child seat, the maximum neck load was 1852 newtons and thus exceeded the permissible load of 1220 Newton.
In the rearward-facing child seat, however, a very different picture emerged. Here the maximum neck load only amounted 394 Newton and is well below the maximum limit.
As our experience at the VTI Plus Test in Sweden has shown the neck load is 5 times lower in a rearward-facing child seat then in a forward-facing child seat while a frontal impact. Because the front collision is the most common type of impact, we recommend as long as possible to drive backwards with your child. Especially since the head of small children weights 25 percent of the total weight, which is relatively very heavy and the neck muscles and the spine is not fully developed until the age of four. The Swedes lead by example because the reboard child seats are there standard since years and no child is allowed to drive forward up to the age of four.