Since October 1 last year, children measuring less than 1.35 meters are no longer able to travel in the front seat next to the driver with an approved child restraint system (unless all rear seats are occupied by other minors). A change made to regulation because, in case of accident, the risk of injury is much lower in the rear. However, actually there are still cases where adults take children up front (some even carry them in their arms!) as the only restraint system, i.e. without an approved seat. They are not aware of the danger this infraction poses for the baby by just hitting the brakes, which can happen at any time. Why are child restraint systems not used? A third of these occurs because of short journeys and 20 percent due to laziness, according to data from the Fundación MAPFRE.
In crash tests, experts have proven the risk posed by carrying a baby in their arms in the vehicle. In a test undertaken by the CIDAUT foundation, a head-on collision was simulated, with an 18 month-old child in their seat and a newborn baby in their mother's arms. In this case it was found that upon impact, the baby is expelled from the vehicle and collides against the vehicle's windshield, which is equivalent to a fall from a third floor. The baby correctly fastened in the child restraining system did not suffer any damage. As a well-known slogan of the RGM states: carelessness has a price.
Data from the RGM also highlights the importance of avoiding to commit this infraction: 40 percent of children killed did not have any protection system. According to this body, the parts of the body that are most children injure due to accidents are the neck (up to 2 years), the head (between 2 and 4 years old) and abdomen (with ages ranging from 4 to 10 years).
Which is the safest place to put the seat? The middle back seat, according to the RGM. In addition, it is best to sit them facing the opposite of the direction of movement, since with this position, the force of impact falls upon the back. And remember, it is as important to correctly fasten the seat as it is to have it.