Most of us wouldn't even think of travelling in a car without fastening our seatbelt, and for good reason. In a crash, at just 30 miles per hour (48.3 kilometers per hour), an unrestrained passenger is thrown forward with a force thirty to sixty times their body weight. What if that unrestrained passenger were a small child? The child would almost certainly be hurled about inside the vehicle, injuring themselves and other passengers. Worse still, they're likely to be thrown from the vehicle through one of the windows.
It's not even safe to hold a child on your lap while driving. In a crash, the child could be crushed between your body and part of the interior of the car. Even if you were held in by a seatbelt the child would be pulled from your arms by the force of the collision. You simply wouldn't be able to hold on to the child, no matter how hard you tried.
The bottom line is that the safest way for children to travel by car is in a child seat that is suitable for their weight and size, and is fitted correctly. In this article, we'll examine the technology at work and find out how to choose the best child seat.