Is rear-facing safer in a side impact collision?

oxeye

New member
My sister asked me this yesterday and I didn't have a good answer for her because I'm really not a whiz at physics.

My response to her was that I don't know and I'd guess that at the worst, rear-facing and forward-facing would offer the same protection in a side impact collision. But is rear-facing actually safer in this circumstance? Why?

Thanks. :) I figure someone on here will have a good explanation for me!
 
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joolsplus3

Admin - CPS Technician
FOUR TIMES safer, yup :).
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9916868/

The child stays neatly contained in the seat shell in a side crash, whereas in a frontal crash, their head flies forward out of the side of the seat and more likely to strike the window or B-pillar or even the oncoming car's bumper.

"870 children under age 2 who had been in either rear-facing or forward-facing car seats at the time of an automobile accident. He found that the children in forward-facing seats were more than four times as likely to be injured in side crashes as opposed to the children in rear-facing seats."
 

oxeye

New member
Okay - so the safety of rear-facing in a side crash is because most of them have a frontal component? Thanks makes sense. :)

And don't worry - she and I are both convinced that RF is safer, we were just wondering about the physics of it. :)
 

joolsplus3

Admin - CPS Technician
Okay - so the safety of rear-facing in a side crash is because most of them have a frontal component? Thanks makes sense. :)

And don't worry - she and I are both convinced that RF is safer, we were just wondering about the physics of it. :)
Right, mostly people are moving forward when they are T-boned...like, through a green light in an intersection when someone runs a red light...so the head will keep flying forward in the direction the car is driving, then the head will fly towards the point of impact (ouch)

:)
 

Lys

Senior Community Member
Right, mostly people are moving forward when they are T-boned...like, through a green light in an intersection when someone runs a red light...so the head will keep flying forward in the direction the car is driving, then the head will fly towards the point of impact (ouch)

:)
A body in motion stays in motion unless acted on by an outside force. :)
Newton's Law of Motion
WOW! amazing I actually remembered something from HS science class!
 

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