Know For Sure
September 18, 2015
Behind the Scenes | Tether vs. No Tether Video
June 30, 2016

Behind the Scenes | Rear-Facing vs. Forward-Facing Video

We published our Rear-Facing vs. Forward-Facing video (watch the video here) one month ago, and since then it has spread not only throughout central Ohio, but across the country (and internationally as well). We're incredibly excited to see it reaching so many caregivers, hopefully convincing them to keep their little ones rear-facing just a little bit longer, or perhaps even getting them to consider turning their child's forward-facing convertible seat back around. While the video lasts only 2 minutes, the testing took a considerable amount of time and effort to get from planning and preparation to execution. Here's a behind the scenes look at the testing, with some additional information about the seats, dummies, and testing parameters.

Selecting the dummies and seats:

The Anthropomorphic Test Device (ATD) or "crash test dummy" used in these tests was a 12 month old child dummy, weighing 10.0 kilograms (approximately 22 pounds), with a standing height of 747 millimeters (29.4 inches), and a seated height of 480 millimeters (18.9 inches). The same dummy was used for both the rear-facing and forward-facing tests. The seats used for testing can be used rear-facing up to 40 pounds, and forward-facing from 20 to 65 pounds. While identical seats were used, a new seat was used for each test.

Installing the seats and securing the dummies:

Two nationally certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians from the Buckle Up With Brutus program were present throughout testing to install the car seats, and ensure that each child dummy was properly secured in their car seat.
For the rear-facing test, the seat was installed using lower anchors. As with any proper car seat installation, the seat was installed tight enough that it could not be moved side-to-side or front-to-back more than one inch. The dummy was positioned in the seat with the harness straps at shoulder level - remember, for rear-facing seats the harness straps should be at or below the shoulders! The harness was tightened until no excess webbing could be pinched.

For the forward-facing test, the seat was installed using lower anchors and the tether anchor. As with any proper car seat installation, the seat was installed tight enough that it could not be moved side-to-side or front-to-back more than one inch. The dummy was positioned in the seat with the harness straps at shoulder level - remember, for forward-facing seats the harness straps should be at or above the shoulders! The harness was tightened until no excess webbing could be pinched.

Conducting the tests:

The speed of the tests was based on the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 213, which specifies the testing condition requirements for child restraint systems used in motor vehicles. As such, a speed of 48 kilometers per hour (approximately 30 miles per hour) was targeted in the tests.

Acknowledgements:

We were fortunate enough to have access to the testing facilities and research engineers at the Transportation Research Center (TRC, Inc.) to conduct the sled testing that was used in the video. Graco graciously donated the seats for testing, and also provided input throughout the testing and video editing process.

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