Transport Canada Has Extensive Crash Video, Research Findings on Website
Transport Canada recently updated its website to include the findings of CR crash test research it conducted between 2003 and 2009. Included along with the research description and findings are many crash test video clips.
The videos depict a wide range of CR models and dummy sizes crashed in a variety of vehicle models. Tests were done for both LATCH (UAS, or Universal Anchorage System, in Canada) and seat belt installations, with and without tethers. A variety of frontal crashes were conducted, including rigid wall, car-to-car, and offset. All vehicle and CR models are identified.
(Editor’s Note: The tests were run at high speeds and replicate unusually severe conditions. Though the research can be informative for the reasons described below, it would be inappropriate to use it to draw conclusions about any particular CR model.)
The research is broken down into rear-facing protection, forward-facing protection, and booster seats. For each section, conclusions include basic takeaway tips and guidance for parents.
For instance, one section is dedicated to high-weight harness seats that protect children from 40 to 65 pounds. After detailed description of the research, the conclusions include tips that urge parents to select a high-weight harness CR instead of moving to a BPB too soon, to use LATCH when available, to always use a tether, and to keep as much space as possible between the child and the seat ahead.
Another interesting part of this extensive research is a look at whether it is helpful to use LATCH along with the seat belt to install a CR. Twelve paired tests studied the differences in performance of CRs when installed with just LATCH compared to with LATCH and also the seat belt. Though the findings showed that the CRs had less forward displacement and the force on the tether was reduced when both attachment methods were used together, adding the seat belt to LATCH did not have a noticeable effect on injury values. The study makes it clear that vehicle and CR owner’s manuals should always be followed regarding this practice and that most prohibit it.
The findings of this extensive research make interesting reading for CPSTs and are in language clear enough for those in the general public who are interested in technical details. Though the research is Canadian, figures are often given in both U.S. and metric units.
Resource: To find this research, go to http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/roadsafety/safedrivers-menu-39.htm. Choose “Child Safety” and then select “Child Car Seat Research and Testing” in the Featured Topics box to the right. You can then navigate through the test pages under “Child Car Seat Research and Testing.”
©Safe Ride News March/April 2010