Young children are some of the most vulnerable people on our roads, and making sure they have a safe car seat is one of the best ways to protect them. 

New research from the Transurban Road Safety Centre at NeuRA has demonstrated that an older car seat can still protect a child in a crash.

NeuRA researchers tested rear-facing, forward-facing and booster seats in frontal crash tests at an impact speed of 56 km/h. This included ex-rental seats that had been well-used.

In laboratory crash testing, NeuRA found that these seats were effective in protecting child passengers from head and abdominal injuries.

During the tests, some car seats sustained damage that would impair their performance in any subsequent crashes – confirming that once a car seat has been in a serious accident, it’s best to replace it.

These findings highlight that, while used car seats can still be effective, it is crucial that older seats are thoroughly inspected to ensure they are in good condition and not missing any parts, and have not been in a crash.

And because not all damage might be visible or in a place that can be easily seen, researchers caution against using older car seats with an unknown history.

But whether you’re using a new or second-hand car seat, always remember to get the seat inspected and installed by a professional car seat fitter such as Kidsafe.

A professional car seat fitting will give parents peace of mind every time they make a trip in the car, right from the very first trip home from the hospital.  

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