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Development of a New Rearward-Facing Seat for Children From 0 to 3 Years
Published September 01, 1993 by ISATA - Dusseldorf Trade Fair in United Kingdom
Event: ISATA 1993
About 1000 children are killed in Europe each year in cars. 5,000 are severely injured. An accidentological study made by Renault on fatal car accidents in France indicates that 38% of children of less than 4 years killed in vehicles are involved in frontal impact and 29% in lateral impact. This study also shows that 79% of children killed in frontal impact could be saved by a good restraint system, and that this number would be 40% in lateral impact.
In Sweden, rearward-facing child seats have been used for over 20 years, and the accident experience is very positive, with very low fatality rates for this age group. When a new model of the Volvo rearward-facing child seat for children up to three years (group 0 and 1) was planned, it was decided to develop it also for Renault car models.
As far as frontal impact is concerned, a conclusion from an International Task Force on Child Restraint Systems (ITFCRS), as well as Swedish experience, show that is was absolutely necessary to carry children of less than 2 years in rearward-facing devices, to avoid cervical injury risk. This option was then adopted for the seat and impact tests showed the high level of protection given by this system, especially for cervical spine.
For lateral impact, ITFCRS works show that the rearward-facing child in rear seat is particularly vulnerable when it is on the impacted side. For this purpose, a very enclosing design was then proposed. The seat was tested in particular in fronto-lateral car-to-car impacts up to 60 km/h to evaluate the protection offered. But, and still more important, the seat is also designed to be used at the rear center position, even with a lap belt only.
This paper describes all the processes which lead to the seat development and gives the first test results which allow us to expect a high level of protection to be reached.