The ratio of rear facing vs forward facing statistics showed that “there is not even a single car crash in which the rear-facing child got any serious injury”.
It highlights the safety level of rear-facing over forward-facing car seats. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), in their 2018 policy statement, stated that:
“A child should ride rear-facing until they are too big for their rear-facing car seat”
On the other hand, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommended that:
“The children will remain in their rear-facing car seats until they have outgrown the car seat manufacturer’s recommended upper height and weight limit of their car seat”
Rear Facing Vs Forward Facing Statistics
The rearward facing seats or rear facing convertible car seats are specially designed for children of age 0-4 years to minimize the risk of injury to them during a car accident.
Rear facing vs forward facing statistics that are mentioned below highlight some of the facts about it:
Crash Forces Blocking Capability – Rear Facing vs Forward Facing Statistics:
In a car crash, if your child’s car seat is forward-facing, they would get hit with a force of 180+ kg while it will be less than 60 kg in the rear-facing position.
The logic behind the rear-facing car seat’s force blocking is that:
“The back of the child’s car seat will be towards the front of the car in which they are sitting. In this way, the hard frame of the seat will act as a shield and absorbs the maximum crash impact forces, protecting your child to the best”
2. Risk of serious injury:
The chances of risk injury to the child are:
- 8% while riding rear-facing
- 40% in forward-facing
PS: despite such clear evidence, it has been reported that the parents (who think their child might not be comfortable in rear-facing) allow their children for forward-facing rides even before 2 years of age.
You need to know the types of car seats by age to make sure that your child is traveling in a car seat that suits best to them.
3. Child’s fragile body vs adult’s body:
The child’s body is fragile, much more than an adult’s body. The head of a 9-months old baby counts for 25% of their total body weight which is just 6% in the case of adults.
A toddler’s vertebrate, unlike the adult’s, is connected via cartilage instead of ossified bone. It matures with age i.e. the older the child, the mature will be the spine.
There are higher chances of serious vertebrate injury to the child as described by the rear facing vs forward facing statistics. While sitting rear-facing, the strong frame of the car seat will shield them from the crash forces.
Related: “when can baby face forward in car seat 2022”
These are the reason that head injuries in kids are more severe than in adults.
Why Is Rear Facing Safer?
As a parent, you must know the importance of rear-facing and how much safer is rear facing.
The best precaution is that “you should never shift your child to a front-facing car seat until they have outgrown the age limit for rear-facing i.e. 4 years”.
Related: When Can Kids Sit in the Front Seat?
Now the point is why rear-facing is considered safer? Because:
Guaranteed by AAP:
AAP in their 2018 recommendations, stated that rear-facing car seats are the safest option for children under the age of 4 years.
Rear-facing children would suffer a minimum in car crashes:
In rear facing car seats, it has been reported that the children in car crashes don’t suffer from any serious head, neck, and spine injuries.
When riding forward-facing, the head of toddlers are thrown forward, causing severe head and neck injury to them.
Additional impact protection:
The rear-facing or rear-facing convertible car seats have a concave head area, designed especially to provide excellent impact protection to the head of the child from both sides of the car seat.
It also provides additional support to the infant’s head when they are unable to hold their head independently or while sleeping.
Like all other features, the 3-positional reclining headrest in rear-facing car seats is installed to provide comfort and head support to the infants when they are unable to do it for themselves.
Convertible car seats:
Convertible car seats are both rear and forward-facing. They are equally suitable for children of age 0-6+ years.
They have multiple infant-friendly options like a recline-able headrest, a wide weight and height range, excellent impact protection, etc.
Get to know more about Infant car seat height limit for rear-facing.
Benefits of Extended Rear Facing – Zero Injuries Zero Deaths!
Extended rear facing means that the child will ride rear-facing from birth to the age of 4 years. Rear facing vs forward facing statistics showed that the safest travel mode for infants is rear-facing.
Extended rear-facing has the following benefits over forward-facing:
- During impact, rear-facing keeps your child’s head, neck, and spine in an aligned position, causing the minimum transfer of the crash forces.
- Regardless of the angle of impact force, the hardback of the car seat will shield your baby’s body from all sides.
- Although, children in forward-facing car seats will remain confined in the car seats, however, their chances of getting severe head, neck, and spine injuries are the highest.
Therefore, it is advised to the parents to not hurry for the transition from rear-facing to forward-facing until the child is at least 3+ years old.
The aim of collecting rear facing vs forward facing statistics is to convince the parents to not let their child ride forward-facing until before the age of 4 years.
To keep your child safe and secure, you must have enough knowledge about Types of car seats by age, Infant car seat height limit, How soon can a newborn travel long distance by car, and Newborn car seat straps correct position.
Write to us if you still have any queries regarding infant car seats ☺
Why do infants ride in backward facing car seat?
A backward facing car seat will protect your child from a sudden stop impact, a violent crash, or any mishap. The strong backside structure of the car seat which is towards the front of the vehicle will act as a shield to save your baby’s head, neck, and spine.
What is the forward facing vs rear facing car seat safety level?
While riding in the forward-facing car seat, the child’s head is thrown forward during the car crash and may get severe head and neck injury.
On the contrary, in rear-facing, the car set’s back will act as a shield against the crash forces and protect the child from getting any serious head and neck injury.
Why rear facing car seat is best for infants?
With its strong backside, which will be towards the crash forces, a rear-facing car seat can protect the infants from getting any serious head, neck, and spine injuries in a car crash.
Which is the safest rear facing car seat?
The Britax Multi-Tec, Graco 4-in1, Chicco NextFit iX Zip Convertible Car Seat, are among the top best rear-facing infant car seats.
When to turn rear facing carseat around?
According to the NHTSA, the child will remain in their rear-facing car seat until they have outgrown the car seat manufacturer’s recommended upper height and weight limit of their car seat.
How long to keep child rear facing?
It is the best practice to you keep your child rear-facing for the age of 0-4 years, however, children of age under 2 years are strictly prohibited from forward-facing.
Forward or rear facing car seat for my 3 year old?
Mostly, the parents switch rear-facing soon after their child grows 1-year old. This is extremely dangerous for them. For the safety of your child, it is better to ride rear-facing until they are under 4 years of age.
What is the age limit for an adult carseat belt?
According to the child car seat manufacturers, a child of age 12+ years, weight 120+ lbs. and height of 4 ft. 9ʺ and above is allowed for an adult car seat belt.