Global NCAP has rolled out the Latin American Child Restraint System Assessment Program (PERSI). The main objective of the programme is to offer an independent assessment of the most commonly available child car seats in Latin America and the Caribbean, so that families can choose the CRS best suited to their needs and know the results of the safety tests they have undergone.
PERSI has a website which publishes the results of different child car seats. So far 28 seats have been analyzed. Information is provided regarding the year in which the test was carried out, the group to which the restraint system belongs, the make, the model, the installation method, whether it has a base or not and the final result measured in number of stars, with a top mark of 5 stars.
The PERSI program has members such as Global NCAP, ICRT, Fundación Gonzalo Rodríguez (Uruguay), ProTeste (Brazil), the consumer and user group, ODECU (Chile), the consumer protection group, El Poder del Consumidor (Mexico) and FIA, Region IV.
During the last five years these child restraint systems have undergone head-on and side impact tests and the ease of use of these seats has also been analyzed. This has given rise to a global rating system. The more stars the seat receives, the better the rating.
Parents can obtain useful information in order to choose the restraint system that best suits their needs and it also serves as a catalyst for seat manufacturers to improve their products.
Children's road safety continues to be of great concern in the Latin American region, as asserted by Alejandro Furas, Global Technical director of NCAP and Secretary General of Latin NCAP. In fact, among the most common problems is that not enough children are traveling in child restraint systems, the lack of proper controls and the scarcity of 3-point seat belts and ISOFIX anchorages.
The crash tests which the child seats undergo are similar to those carried out by Latin NCAP. Frontal impact is carried out with the structure of a Volkswagen Golf VI and the average deceleration pulse is the same one used in the Latin CAP tests, namely, the frontal impact speed is 64 km/h. Furthermore, the side impact test is carried out through impact with a fixed door, with a 10 degree angle in the direction of impact. The final rating is given in stars.
It should be noted that all the products assessed comply with at least some of the approval standards: UN-R44, UN-R129, NBR 14400 (from the ABNT - the Brazilian Association of Technical Standards, based on the European ECE 44 R04 standard) or FMVSS 123 (United States approval legislation), meaning that all of the seats comply with minimum safety standards.