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  1. #1
    CPS Technician Holly's Avatar
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    Why cant we install car seats in a small truck's sideways seats?

    Is it only because it's not tested that way, or has it been tested and failed?

    Before I became a car seat fanatic, my dh had a 1997 Ford Ranger truck that had the little flip down sideways seats in the back. Our dd#1 was 11 months and we took a trip about 5 or 6 hours away to visit my brother in law. I didn't know any better at the time, so I said it was ok to take the truck, and we had dd's comfort sport (the seat we had at the time) sideways behind the passenger seat. It was installed tightly and then we put back the passenger seat as much as we could, so the seat was completely surrounded. I wouldn't do it now, and we dont even have the truck anymore anyway.

    But, I was talking about car seats and sideways truck seats with my dh and mil recently and I was saying that I wouldnt do it now, even though it apeared to be safe, it's just not tested that way.
    My dh and mil think it would actually be safer since the seat is tight on it's own and then has the passenger seat totally smashed up against it so the seat would have nowhere to go. Mil even said that my nephew rode that way in my bil's truck for his first year before my bil got a new car and "he was fine" but then again they were never in a wreck either.

    So, is the reason just because it's not tested that way?
    Are those kinds of trucks even tested with just crast test dummies in those seats, do we even know if those seats are ok for just a person by themselves, and if so, who? Kids need to be in car seats and boosters, and adults would be so uncomfortable back there! If I remember right, it had just a lap belt too!
    Mom to:
    Hannah 11 Graco Connext, Abby 10 Graco Connext, Josh 7 Recaro Performance Booster, and Zach 2 1/2 Sunshine Kids Radian 80.

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  3. #2
    CPS Technician Starlight's Avatar
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    Re: Why cant we install car seats in a small truck's sideways seats?

    The nowhere to go is right into the seat and/or window. There just isn't enough space to allow a person/carseat to move properly there. Someone will chime along w/ better info, but suffice to say, they just aren't appropriate for anyone.
    Mom to a Crew! Boys 10, 6, 4 and 2 and Girls 9 and 2!
    Don't ask me if I'm having more, I may be tempted to say yes!

  4. #3
    Moderator MomToEliEm's Avatar
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    Re: Why cant we install car seats in a small truck's sideways seats?

    For a child who should be rearfacing in a carseat (at least until 1 year and 20 pounds), being sideways in a seat would pose a huge risk of neck injury to the child. When rearfacing, the child's neck and spine rest against the back of the seat and will "ride" with the seat in an accident so there isn't much force on the neck. When forward facing or sideways in a seat, that neck force could be too great and cause the spinal cord to break. Here is a rearfacing crash test video which shows what the crash test forces look like rearfacing http://www.britax.fi/quicktime/TWside240.AVI

    Seats are not tested for side impact protection which would be very critical if the seat was actually installed sideways. Until they design carseats for the added protection on the sides, do not use the sideways seats for carseats.

    Also, the carseat manufacturers are void of any liability if an accident were to happen since the manuals say not to do it.

    Just not worth the risk.

  5. #4
    CPS Technician Holly's Avatar
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    Re: Why cant we install car seats in a small truck's sideways seats?

    Thanks guys! Now I have even more reasons to tell dh why it's not safe!

    I think he should just give up and realize by now that I know what I'm talking about even if I dont really have a good reason why.
    The other day I was mentioning that I'll probably turn Hannah around to FF when she is 3, and dh said "Get it in writing Hannah"
    Mom to:
    Hannah 11 Graco Connext, Abby 10 Graco Connext, Josh 7 Recaro Performance Booster, and Zach 2 1/2 Sunshine Kids Radian 80.

  6. #5
    Salma Cilingiroglu
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    Re: Why cant we install car seats in a small truck's sideways seats?

    Quote Originally Posted by Holly View Post
    Is it only because it's not tested that way, or has it been tested and failed?

    Before I became a car seat fanatic, my dh had a 1997 Ford Ranger truck that had the little flip down sideways seats in the back. Our dd#1 was 11 months and we took a trip about 5 or 6 hours away to visit my brother in law. I didn't know any better at the time, so I said it was ok to take the truck, and we had dd's comfort sport (the seat we had at the time) sideways behind the passenger seat. It was installed tightly and then we put back the passenger seat as much as we could, so the seat was completely surrounded. I wouldn't do it now, and we dont even have the truck anymore anyway.

    But, I was talking about car seats and sideways truck seats with my dh and mil recently and I was saying that I wouldnt do it now, even though it apeared to be safe, it's just not tested that way.
    My dh and mil think it would actually be safer since the seat is tight on it's own and then has the passenger seat totally smashed up against it so the seat would have nowhere to go. Mil even said that my nephew rode that way in my bil's truck for his first year before my bil got a new car and "he was fine" but then again they were never in a wreck either.

    So, is the reason just because it's not tested that way?
    Are those kinds of trucks even tested with just crast test dummies in those seats, do we even know if those seats are ok for just a person by themselves, and if so, who? Kids need to be in car seats and boosters, and adults would be so uncomfortable back there! If I remember right, it had just a lap belt too!
    So is it illegal to put a child in a carseat sideways in a pick up truck? Is it even possible to put a car seat sideways safely? Can you send me articles or reports stating if it is illegal or legal? If you have the capability to answer any of my questions, please email me, salma DOT cilingiroglu AT gmail DOT com
    Last edited by Jeanum; 09-20-2009 at 02:30 PM. Reason: making email more spam proof

  7. #6
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus Jeanum's Avatar
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    Re: Why cant we install car seats in a small truck's sideways seats?

    As discussed earlier in this thread, carseats are not certified to be installed on side facing (or rear facing) vehicle seats, only forward facing vehicle seats, and thus not compatible with a safe and proper installation on side facing vehicle seats. In states with proper use child restraint laws, it's illegal because it would be counter to the instructions for all carseats, but the legal vs. illegal issue is pretty moot when it's not an allowable installation with any assurance of proper performance and protection of the child in a crash.

    If you have specific installation questions or need input on selecting a carseat for your child, please start a new thread with your vehicle's model year, brand and model name, and your child's age, height and weight. We'll be happy to try to guide you toward a safe and workable solution.
    Regards,
    Jean

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    DD2 Age 12, 64" 5 steps

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