Archive for March 13th, 2007

As I was clicking on an incoming link, I came across a wordpress blog titled, “Are Car Seats More Dangerous Then Seatbelts?“Apparently, Consumer Reports published test results of child car seat tests that were disturbing. The blog included a link to the report. But instead of the test results, I discover the report has been removed.

In January 2007, the original Consumer Report removed the original article publishing the results of the baby car seat tests. The withdrawal states:

“The original study, published in the February issue of Consumer Reports, was aimed at discovering how infant seats performed in tests at speeds that match those used in the government’s New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). This program tests most new vehicles in crashes at speeds of 35 mph for frontal impact and 38 mph for side impact. Child safety seats, in contrast, are currently tested only in front-impact crashes at speeds of 30 mph.”

Why did they withdraw the report? Apparently, Consumer Reports was contacted by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), raising a “question about whether the tests accurately simulated that speed, however, so we are now reviewing our tests and the resulting article.”

Although the results were removed, 3rd party sources one can discern some original test results to see what was so disturbing. The Freakonomics Blog quotes the report saying,

When we crash-tested infant car seats at the higher speeds vehicles routinely withstand, most failed disastrously. The car seats twisted violently or flew off their bases, in one case hurling a test dummy 30 feet across the lab.”

The NY Times also notes, “Of a dozen models tested in simulations of such impacts, 10 failed, some “disastrously,” the magazine reports in its February issue.” Besides the “disastrous” results:

“The magazine also found flaws in a much acclaimed system, required by the government in all new cars since 2002, that helps anchor baby seats to cars. Indeed, some child seats performed worse with this Latch hardware than when held in place by seat belts. The traffic safety agency said it would hold a public meeting next month to discuss how to improve the Latch system.”

One will have to wait to see if the new test results will be as disastrous.

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