Why Extended Rear Facing Is Safer.
Did you know that the rear-facing car seat is a Swedish innovation? The rear-facing car seat was invented in the 1960s and is one of the reasons why Sweden is the best country in the world on protecting children in traffic.
Different studies based on actual accidents show that the risk of death or serious injury in a collision increases about 5 times for children who travel in forward-facing car seats, compared to children travelling in rear-facing car seats.
If you have a high-impact crash in a forward facing seat, the torso is held in place by the harness, but the head, arms and legs are thrown forward. In a rear facing the seat’s back rest absorbs the impact, protecting the neck and head. Rear facing car seats are up to five times safer than forward facing ones. The risk of serious injury in a high-impact crash is reduced from 40% in a forward facing seat to just 8% in a rear facing one. Rear facing seats reduce the impact on the neck from 300kg (forward facing) to 50kg in a 30mph crash.
A child’s head takes up about 25% of their overall weight, compared to 6% in an adult. This means, as their head is thrown forward in a crash, they risk serious injuries to their neck. Also, the bones in a child’s spine and neck don’t start to fuse together until around age two or three, children need the extra protection that rear facing seats offer.
The following video below shows the comparison when a child is seated in a forward facing seat as opposed to a rear facing one.