We’ve all seen the news reports and advertising claims on how rear-facing child car seats are the safest for young babies, but do these reports really add up? A recent investigation into the performance of rear-facing child seats put these car seats to the test in their performance in car crashes that happen from behind.

The effectiveness of rearward car seats has already been scientifically proven in side crashes and front crashes, but they hadn’t been tested for rearward crashes. Considering that rear-impact collisions make up over 25 percent of all car crashes, it’s important that parents understand how these seats perform in such incidents.

In a study published by safety researchers at the Ohio State University Injury Biomechanics Research Center, it was revealed that rear-facing baby seats are indeed safer than forward-facing designs. As such, researchers believe that these seats are the best choice for child safety when children are under 2 years of age.

According to the lead researcher, rearward-facing car seats offer “lots of different features and mechanisms to absorb that crash energy. The rear-facing seat is able to support the child’s head, neck, and spine.” Apparently, the seats continue to do their job even though the child is effectively facing the collision. That said, researchers stress that parents need to know how to properly install the seats so that they perform their intended function, and that the seats must be appropriate for the weight, height and age of the child.

It’s important for parents to fully research all available car seats before making a selection for their children. Some seats are clearly better than others, and it appears – for young children – the rearward design is the best. If you believe your child suffered an injury in an auto collision because of a defective car seat, make sure you understand your personal injury rights and options under the law.

Source: Medical Research, “Do Rear-Facing Car Seats Protect Children From Rear Crashes?,” April 03, 2018