The best known impact test for child car seats is the ADAC Impact test.

One of the criteria by which we choose a good car seat is the result obtained by it in an impact test.

ADAC abbreviated to the name of a motorcycle club founded in Germany on May 24, 1903 and then renamed the German General Motoring Club in 1911.

In 2012, the club had over 18 million members, making it the largest car club in Europe.

It is basically an insurance company in the field of transport, which is involved in promoting the safety of transport and the attestations of various vehicles or devices associated with road transport.

Such a group of products is represented by car seats for children.

ADAC Impact Test for car seats

1. Selection of seats

ADAC cannot test all car seats. These are selected based on popularity, sales volume and innovation, a recent example being wheelchairs or inflatables.

2. Test Method

The seats are tested according to the standard after which they were built. However, in terms of frontal impact, the ADAC test is done at 64km / h, compared to the test in the two standards which is done at 50km/h.

Since 2015, the ADAC test uses part of the Golf VI mounted on a test train. The test simulates a frontal collision at a speed of 64 km / h for seats built according to the R44 standard and a side impact of 50 km / h for seats built according to R129.

Seat permeability or load values are determined by means of several manikins seated or in an inclined position.

Static tests monitor the stability of the seat, belts and belt guides as well as the height adjustment of the seat and headrest.

Since 2011 ADAC has also measured the ergonomics of the seat for the child’s position, but also for the space occupied by the seat in the vehicle. To determine these things to use cars with 2 and 4 doors as well as a small bus.

The seats are also tested for chemicals in the textile cover. The paints used are evaluated as well as the presence of heavy metals.

Here is a breakdown of what evaluates an ADAC test (to be perfect we must have 100%):

  • 50% safety
    • Front impact protection at 64 km/h: 40%
    • Side impact protection with a speed of 50km/h: 40%
    • Seat belt guide and adjustment: 10%
    • Stability in the car: 10%
  • 40% operation
    • Possibility to install the seat incorrectly: 40%
    • Closing and opening the belts: 20%
    • Installation and uninstallation of the car seat: 10%
    • Seat assembly: 10%
    • User manual: 8%
    • 2% cleaning
  • 10% ergonomics
    • How much space does the child have in the seat: 40%
    • How much space does the seat occupy in the car: 20%
    • Position of the child sitting in the seat: 20%
    • Child comfort: 20%
  • Cleaning and maintenance
    • Cleaning: 50%
    • Maintenance: 50%

3. The result of an ADAC test looks like in the image below.

The grades received are from 0.5 to 5.5, where 1 is very good and 5.5 dangerous (not recommended):

0,5 – 1,5: very good

1.6 – 2.5: good

2,6 – 3,5: satisfactory

3.6 – 4.5: sufficient 4.6 – 5.5: not recommended



One of the basic rules of ADAC testing is that regardless of the manufacturer’s public position regarding the result of this independent test, ie if the manufacturer considers that the seat was not installed correctly and therefore the safety test did not have a result. good this test for the model in question will not be redone. However, a new model will be tested, which the manufacturer will put on the market and which obviously has other features. 

Serious manufacturers take into account the results of ADAC tests and often withdraw low-grade models from the market, investing more in research and development of better, safer, non-toxic and easier to use models. There are notable results in this regard, such as Britax-Romer Dualfix or Nuna Rebl, models that the manufacturers understood to improve and which when the necessary changes were made, were tested (obviously bearing other names because there were differences in structure between they) and obtained excellent grades later.