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Safety Notices

About Side Impact Crashes

Facts about Side Impact Crashes

Side Impact Protection

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.

The following video provides an overview of the different levels of protection that BRITAX car seats provide for your child during a side impact crash:

Learn more about the different levels of side impact protection that BRITAX offers:

Side Impact Protection Side Impact Protection
True Side Impact Protection True Side Impact Protection
Side Impact Cushion Technology Side Impact Cushion Technology


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