Advanced search

front seat or back seat which is safest?

(30 Posts)
LittleB Mon 24-Sep-07 12:39:22

Is it more dangerous for my daughter to travel in her car seat in the front seat? She's 2 and is in a forward facing car seat. I've read the car seat laws. But I wondered if its actually more dangerous for her to be in the front. She's usually in the back, but sometimes I put her in the front when I want to keep her awake as she can see more and chat to me and stays awake better (its those afterwork pick ups when I've got a 45min drive home at 5pm and sleep then would be a disaster.) Does anyone know?

tissy Mon 24-Sep-07 12:41:17

yes, more dangerous in the front and front-facing

tissy Mon 24-Sep-07 12:43:12


Hulababy Mon 24-Sep-07 12:44:28

Back seat is far safer for a child.

If you do have to put her in the front seat make sure the air bag is deactivated.

SlightlyMadSweden Mon 24-Sep-07 12:45:18

Back is definately safer

LittleB Mon 24-Sep-07 12:55:34

Thanks for that, very useful link Tissy. She does have to be front facing though, she's far too big for a rear facing seat, and it says you only need to deactivate the air bag if the seat is rear facing. I don't have a paaenger airbag but my mum does and she goes in her car. Any stats on how much more dangerous? Hulababy you say its far safer in the back, do you have any satistics? She only does this occaisionally anyway but will stop doing it if its considerably more dangerous.

Hulababy Mon 24-Sep-07 12:56:15

No, no stats. Just from what I have always read regarding car safety.

tissy Mon 24-Sep-07 13:17:23

in Scandinavia, I believe it is compulsory for children to travel rear facing till they are 4. This is because it is safer. They just have to tuck their legs up!

LittleB Mon 24-Sep-07 13:39:50

Thats interesting Tissy. I know dd outgrew her rear car seat before she turned 1, through weight and length in a normal Mamas & Papas car seat. I wonder why we don't have rear facing car seats for toddlers too? Although I did worry with dd, as her legs got longer, that she would brace them against the seat, which I imagine would be pretty awful if she was braced when you got bumped, but would protect her head better I guess. I'm looking into getting a new(er) car at the moment so will get a new car seat when I do, as I'm hoping for one with isofix fittings as they seem more secure than just the seatbelt. Still interested to know why it is much safer for a child in the front than rear, and how much safer.

tissy Mon 24-Sep-07 13:40:58

more info

tissy Mon 24-Sep-07 13:42:35

here's a photo from USA

JodieG1 Mon 24-Sep-07 13:43:17

Safer in the back.

WendyWeber Mon 24-Sep-07 13:43:43

It is technically possible for a child in a front seat, even in a front-facing car seat, to be killed by an airbag - they deploy at c 200mph.

SlightlyMadSweden Mon 24-Sep-07 13:43:51

It is to do with the physics of a crash.

It is much better for the spine if it is facing the impact beacuase of the way the energy is transferred at impact.

Most crashes (esp high speed ones) are frontal

EmsMum Mon 24-Sep-07 13:45:11

If you get a Volvo, they do their own rear-facing toddler seat. We had one ...this was a few years ago so may have changed but it was on special mounting so that there was room on the car's seat for legs.

We did have it in front - we got the car knowing I'd be travelling in it alone with DD from the start so got it without a front passenger airbag at all.

WendyWeber Mon 24-Sep-07 13:53:55

netdoctor on child safety in cars.

<<Why are airbags dangerous for children?

Airbags were made to protect adults weighing about 75kg. They are very powerful when they are inflated and they are placed so low that a child placed in front of an airbag may suffocate or be severely injured by the impact of a rapidly inflating airbag.

If your child is younger than 12 years, they must never sit in a front-seat with an active airbag in front of them. When your child is over 12 and wants to sit in the front seat, move the seat as far back as possible.

A child seat must never be fitted in the front passenger seat if the car has a passenger side airbag. Some cars enable the driver to switch off the airbag. But it should be switched on again when an adult is using the seat.>>

bossybritches Mon 24-Sep-07 13:55:43

As far as I'm aware all children should be restrained in their car-seats in the back unless there is a valid reason why not. On ROSPA web-site it says law as long as they are in the appropriate-age seat front or back it is allowed but I know the police recomend anyone under 12 should ALWAYS travel in the back. it is ILLEGAL to use a rear-facing seat in the front with an air-bag unless you can disable it.

Don't kow if they still do it but the AA & RAC used to provide a free checking service for memebers where they would look over the seat in it's ususal position & tell you whether it was correctly fitted or not.

nappyaddict Mon 24-Sep-07 14:06:54

order of safety goes back left, back right, back middle, front.

eidsvold Mon 24-Sep-07 14:13:11


I would never put a 2yo in the front seat - but here in Aus it is illegal to have any child - think it is either under 9 or 12 in a front seat.

SlightlyMadSweden Mon 24-Sep-07 14:14:48

How on earth can you differentiate between safety of back right and left?

Hulababy Mon 24-Sep-07 14:17:42

Only things I can think of re safety between left/right is

(a) accident caused my parent turning round to see child - harder to see on right behind driver???

(b) often driver's seat is further back than passenger seat (not always though) so closer to child.

Never read any difference betwen sides.

nappyaddict Mon 24-Sep-07 14:18:41

sorry i got that wrong. rear centre, then left then right

SlightlyMadSweden Mon 24-Sep-07 14:20:20

Oh could it be about the likey hood of a car slamming into drivers side is greater? (thinking of pulling out at roundabouts etc.)?

SlightlyMadSweden Mon 24-Sep-07 14:20:51

And centre is least safe if it is a lapbelt only - isn't it?

nappyaddict Mon 24-Sep-07 14:25:32

rear centre is safest as long as the car seat can be fitted correctly.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: