La mayor gravedad de estos accidentes se explica por la velocidad a la que se circula en carretera, muy superior a la máxima velocidad permitida en ciudad.
The greater severity of these accidents is due to the speed at which we travel on a highway as opposed to an urban area.
THE RISKS IN URBAN AREAS
If we travel at a prudent speed (never over 50km/hr.), travelling in urban areas carries a higher risk of lateral impact. This type of accident is very frequent in towns, owing to the high number of crossroads or intersections and makes up 25% of all traffic accidents. These are often caused by people not respecting a crossroad, not giving way or jumping a red light.
Cars are less equipped to deal with a lateral impact than a head-on collision. Above all the front of a car has much more available space to absorb the impact than it does on the side. The doors may be made from a material that deforms to absorb the impact, we can also count on lateral airbags or curtain airbags, although these measures are principally to protect adults and in less measure, children in child seats.
Remember that the middle of the back seat is the best place to install a child seat since it is furthest away from any point of impact.
In the past they have modified different child restraining systems to include lateral protectors that offer protection to the back and the shoulders, which helps in a lateral impact. There is also the ISOFIX anchoring system, which maintains better stability in lateral movement so long as the device remains anchored and allows adequate movement of the seatbelt or harness.
Recently the Manufactures of child seats Britax Römer have designed air cushions SICT (Side Impact Cushion Technology), which are incorporated in the sides of the seats and considerably improve protection in a lateral impact. As the side of the seat deforms it fills with air avoiding structural damage to the actual seat while absorbing most of the energy from the impact. This doesn’t cause any discomfort to the child using the seat since it doesn’t take up any space, it simply widens the seat laterally and cushions the impact quickly to minimize the consequences of the accident.