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  1. #1
    Member
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    Jun 2009
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    35

    Car Shopping & Backseat Passenger Safety

    Hello
    I'm in the process of buying a new car and am shocked at the lack of safety features for backseat passengers. I get that since, statistically, more collisions are frontal, front seat safety is important, but I'm really surprised to see that a vast majority of backseats do not have belt pretensioners or loadlimiters. What is the point of having a big fancy car seat for your kids if the seatbelt doesn't do its job?? Sure I get that LATCH probably goes some way to improving the situation, but what about older kids who are in non LATCH boosters??
    Am I making a mountain out of a molehill or is this a justified concern? I'd appreciate hearing your opinions.

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  3. #2
    Senior Community Member Baylor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Re: Car Shopping & Backseat Passenger Safety

    a new car is going to have all the up to date safety features.

    What cars have you looked at?

    Boosters don't work with LATCH So I am not sure what you mean. LATCH is only used on boosters to keep them safely on the seat when not in use. Not to hold the child. That is purely the seatbelt that will lock in position as it is supposed to in a crash.
    A five stepper and a booster rider

  4. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    35

    Re: Car Shopping & Backseat Passenger Safety

    Thanks for your response.
    I was thinking of the Diono Monterey for example which does use LATCH to fix the seat into place.
    2 cars I've considered that seem to have neither loadlimiter nor pretensioners on their rear seatbelts are the Mazda 3, Nissan Juke, BMW X1.

  5. #4
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    409

    Re: Car Shopping & Backseat Passenger Safety

    Safety in the rear seat is an important issue that has been getting increased attention from researchers. Many would argue that safety gains in the front seat have not been matched by those in the rear seat; see for example this report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS):
    http://www.iihs.org/iihs/news/status...rticle/49/11/3

    That being said, the rear seat still appears to be the safest place for young children. Additional technology could be useful, though IIHS has also found that load limiters may be counterproductive in some crash types. The very nature of the rear seat (further from frontal crash forces, no airbag interaction, but with possible contact with the front seatback or other structures) also makes for a different set of safety problems to solve.

    Pretensioners and load limiters have not been required in the USA, to my knowledge, and most vehicle shoppers have little familiarity with the technology. It does not surprise me that they are not installed on some vehicles. A nice alternative to the BMW X1 that does have pretensioners would be the Volvo V60.

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