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rearfacing and cars

(9 Posts)
jocie Wed 12-Aug-09 21:54:19

jsut a quick question to others more knowledgeable than me. If you have a car that has seats that face each other like an 8 seater ( therefore 1 row of seats is facing the back of the car). If you use a ff seat on this row does that mean it acts like a rf seat? Im not convinced as i don't know if the make up of a ff seat would make it as safe. Anyone been able to follow what ive said and are more sure of an answer?

BertieBotts Wed 12-Aug-09 23:09:44

No, it wouldn't be as safe, as it hasn't been tested backwards which means it is not designed to deal with the higher impact of a frontal crash. (Higher compared to a rear impact on the car ie if you were shunted from behind) Side impact (the most common kind) should be unaffected by direction of travel.

I think it would definitely not be safe or legal to install a convertible seat FF in the RF row (so that the carseat itself was RF) and put a newborn/young baby in it. You could probably use a normal FF seat for a toddler or older child in this seat though, I'm not sure whether or not it would be safer to just put them in a FF seat on the FF row so that you know it has been fully tested etc to be used in that manner. I think I would use the RF row as a last seating resort unless I could find evidence that a particular seat had been tested in this position. But you are right, it seems silly since RF is safer! I suppose it comes down to which is riskier - sitting the child FF, or using a carseat in a way which it has not been tested.

norktasticninja Wed 12-Aug-09 23:10:48

I'm afraid I don't know, TBH you'd be best off speaking to Carol at the Essex Car Safety Center - 01268 297593. She really knows her stuff.

sazm Wed 12-Aug-09 23:27:18

does it not say in your car manual that the seats should not be rearfacing when you are driving?is it not that they can turn round for when the car is stopped?
some carseats state in the manuals that they should not be used on a rearfacing seat,

sazm Wed 12-Aug-09 23:29:20

ah sorry i read wrong,i thought u meant the seats could be rearfacing (thinking the people carriers that you can turn the seats round in)
i read on here once before that those rearward seats were classed as child seats and that you didnt actually need a booster as they were smaller seats designed for kids??and carseats dont fit on them properly?

Loopymumsy Wed 02-Sep-09 21:01:50

Message withdrawn

Tangle Wed 02-Sep-09 22:53:59

Sorry to hijack slightly, but BertieBotts - please can you tell me where you got your accident statistics from? I was trying to find these a while back and the only stats I could find were from the USA but said (IIRC) that something like 75% of accidents were FF or had a significant FF component, which seems to be different to the information you've seen. Thanks .

jocie - what age children are you looking at? If it were me and it were age appropriate I'd put a RF child restraint on the FF seats, but I'd 2nd talking to the road safety team in Essex - they're incredibly well informed and extremely helpful

BertieBotts Sat 19-Sep-09 19:55:30

Sorry Tangle, I can't remember where I got them from. I don't actually have definite stats either, just an idea - so I may well be incorrect anyway. In fact your data makes more sense as in a side or rear impact with another car, the other car will have driven into you with the front of their car - so at least one car involved in the accident will have a frontal collision.

I know that frontal impacts tend to be the most severe because the car is usually moving in that direction. Rear impacts are usually the least severe because they usually happen at low speeds and/or because the car in front is driving away from the point of impact. I can't give you a source for this either but I could probably prove it if I dust off my maths skills!

So FF seats are designed to cope with larger impacts from frontal collisions (where the child's body weight would be thrown against the straps) than rear collisions (where the child's body weight would be thrown into the back of the seat).

If you were to turn the seat around, and had a frontal impact, you would have the larger force pushing the child into the back of the seat, which is not designed to take an impact of that force. I don't know what would happen then - I assume the seat would be liable to fail but I'm not sure what that means, I guess it could snap the plastic parts, or bend and trap the child in place.


SarahNM Fri 09-Oct-09 22:28:43

Hi there
The car seat I just bought, a kiddy comfort pro/infinity pro says in the manual:
'can also be installed in rear-facing car seats that are equipped with a three-point restraint system'.
I guess it's best to find some seats you like and check with the manufacturer!

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