Safety of 3 children across the rear seat


New member

I'm wondering if anyone can help me in my research. I'm looking to find if there has ever been any type of testing conducted to evaluate the safety of a 3 across situation. We currently drive a 2000 Odyssey but possibly looking to change to a car or SUV for 3 across. I have 3 children ages 4, 3, and 1. We will be replacing the Odyssey anyway but when I started vehicle research I came across the rear seat back failure issues which appear to affect almost all domestic and Asian manufacturers. Although I'm aware these severe rear enders are quite rare and that frontal and side impact crashes are more problematic; I just feel very uncomfortable placing a child in a potentially unsafe situation now that I'm aware of the issues. I don't think anything can be taken for granted since so many people are distracted by their smart phones. We would be looking at the European manufacturers (sigh) even though the maintenance costs are typically higher. I guess my biggest concern with having 3 across is the possibility of them hitting each other in a side impact especially when they do eventually progress to booster seats.

Sorry for the long post but I just haven't found anything quantitative regarding the safety of the 3 across scenario.



New member
I don't remember if it was a study or what. But I remember something about even non-booster/carseat riders being safer next to a carseat because it prevented some of the side to side movement in an accident. So as long as you can find a vehicle and seats that work with 3 across then I wouldn't worry about it. The seats next to each other could very possibly prevent excessive movement because there's no place for them to go.

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