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  1. #1

    Head restraints in 2nd and 3rd row

    While looking for a vehicle with the 3rd row option, I am very surprised to find most of the American vehicles have no head restraint in the middle seat. This is alarming to me, as I think it would be a huge safetly issue. What do you know about head restraints and are they necessary in the middle row/middle seat? One of the vehicles I am talking about is the Chevy Traverse. The middle seat of rows 2 and 3 do not have a head restraint. In my mind it makes this car a 6 passenger, not an 8.... Am I wrong to think a head restraint is necessary for those middle seats?

    Julie P
    Minneapolis, MN

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  3. #2
    CPS Technician luckyclov's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Who wants to know?

    Re: Head restraints in 2nd and 3rd row

    One of the reasons I chose a minivan over a SUV is because - with newer models, anyways - it seems almost standard to have headrests in all seating positions. My minivan is American - a Grand Caravan - and I have adjustable/removeable headrests in ALL passenger spots. That's a MUST for me.

    As far as manufacturing regulations, I don't know what they are in specifics to headrests (or, if there are any at all, for that matter). But much like LATCH, I would assume, every manufacturer is required to equip their vehicles with the minimum (whatever it may be).

    I know that for use with a child, there doesn't *have* to be a headrest, but the top of the vehicle seat must be at or above ear level of the child. And then some restraint manufacturers require the use of a headrest for proper installation (mainly boosters, I believe...and not all of them).
    CPST & Mom to:
    Keep (11 yrs old, 57", 80 lbs), in an Olli, Ozzi & BB
    Sass (10 yrs old, 54", 76 lbs), in Santa Fe, Monterey & Olli
    Zilla (4 yrs old, 38", 36 lbs), FF in a PS, RXT & FR85
    Rollin' in a 2014 Ody, 2012 F-150 SuperCrew & Luigi, a peppy little 2012 Fiat 500

  4. #3
    CPST Instructor
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    North Texas

    Re: Head restraints in 2nd and 3rd row

    I also think some of it maybe how the vehicle seats are actually designed. I can't remember how the Traverse seats are designed in the 2nd & 3rd row.

    Ex: My Denali 3rd row is a 50/50 split bench. Which means when I fold them for storage/more cargo room they split equal down the middle. If a head restraint was in the center position of the 3rd row my seat wouldn't be able to fold as it would be in the middle of the seat split. The manufacture would have to redesign the vehicle and/or seat to allow for a 3rd row 40/60 split bench which would allow for a head rest in the center.

    I agree it would be nice especially in these "family" vehicles that all seating positions have headrests or higher seat backs.

    I will say I have a 9yr dd that is able to seat in just the vehicle seat belt in my 3rd row and it will be several years before there is a headrest issue in the center 3rd row for her.
    Senior CPS Tech-Instructor & Mommy of 2 girls
    K1 12 yrs old- 61" & 100lbs in vehicle seat belt
    K2 10 yrs old- 59" & 92lbs in vehicle seat belt

  5. #4
    CPS Technician
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Snohomish, WA

    Re: Head restraints in 2nd and 3rd row

    I drive a 2003 Honda Pilot. I have adjustable headrests in all six rear seating positions-and top tether anchors! When we went to look at the car, it appeared that there weren't headrests at all because when the third row is folded down, the headrests are taken off and stored under a hatchdoor in the rear floor behind the third row. (My third row is a joke for car seats though...)

    My SIL's 2004 Expedition doesn't have adjustable headrests in either center seat-second or third row. And there's only one TA for the nice roomy third row.

    Each car has it's drawbacks and features.
    Jessi, CPST: 2003 Honda Pilot, 2010 Toyota Corolla
    T 12/12/06 49" 55 lbs D 1/8/09 44" 50 lbs
    In Use:2 PKWY SGLs, FR80, GN, HB TB Teaching seats: Titan 65, Lite Rider Retired: Wizard, 2 33 lb MA's, 2 50 lb CAs, 3 XTSLs, Regent
    PetBuckle Review Here

  6. #5
    CPST Instructor Carrie_R's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Re: Head restraints in 2nd and 3rd row

    Quote Originally Posted by rodentranger View Post
    (My third row is a joke for car seats though...)
    Post-'03 is better, though, due to the fact that the second row slides. (As long as you don't want three-across. 'Cause that's a nightmare. LOL!)

    I that the Pilots have headrests, lap-shoulder belts and tethers in all positions. It's one less thing to try to figure out when transporting a group o' kiddos.
    Down to just a spare Radian, folded in the hall closet for my Godbaby.

    Check out this thread for a Pilot overview!

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