360 Degree Protection: About Side Impact Crashes
Facts about Side Impact Crashes
Side impact crashes pose a serious threat to child safety and therefore make side impact protection a necessity for child seats. In fact:
- 1 in 4 crashes occur from the side
- Injuries are more severe in side impact crashes
- 30% of fatalities are a result of side impact crashes
- Vehicle side air curtains are designed to protect adults, not children
Source: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
How Injuries Occur in a Side Impact Crash
When a car is hit from the side, a child could possibly be injured by:
- The lack of a “crumple zone” between the child and the vehicle door resulting in direct impact of the oncoming vehicle.
- Contact with any intruding objects such as the car door, glass, metal shards, etc.
- Acceleration of the body as the car comes to a sudden halt; a violent change in speed is what causes injury to the body.
During a side impact crash both the child’s head and chest are extremely vulnerable to injury. The chest is more exposed because the child’s shoulders are wider than the head, and therefore likely to be the first point of contact with intruding objects coming from the side and jolting the chest. The child’s head should always be protected to avoid serious and permanent injury.
Minimizing Injuries in a Side Impact Crash
The key to minimizing the risk of serious injury to your child during a side impact crash is to make sure energy from a crash is transferred to something other than your child.
BRITAX has incorporated varying levels of side impact protection into each child restraint including:
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