In the Explained Impact Tests section, we review the 4 important impact tests, independent of the safety tests that confer the approval of a seat: R44.04 and i-Size (R129).
ADAC abbreviated the name of a club founded in Germany on May 24, 1903 by motorcyclists. In 1903, a German motorcycle club 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 that 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 testing of car seats
ADAC cannot test all car seats. These are selected based on popularity, sales volume and innovation, a recent example being wheelchairs or inflatables.
The seats are tested according to the standard after which they were built. However, in terms of frontal impact, ADAC testing is done at 64km / h, compared to testing in the two standards which is done at 50km / h.
Since 2015, part of the Volkswagen Golf VI mounted on a test train has been used for the ADAC test. 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 performance 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 2 and 4 door cars 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.
One of the basic rules of ADAC testing is that, regardless of a manufacturer’s public position regarding the result of this independent test, ie if the manufacturer believes that the seat has not been installed properly and therefore the safety test has not had a good result, 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 characteristics.
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.
In the Child Car Safety Center we visibly displayed, next to each ADAC tested seat, the score obtained by the respective model, as well as the marks given for each of the following criteria: safety, ergonomics, ease of installation, material toxicity and ease of maintenance.
Which is the name of a UK Consumers’ Association, founded in 1957. This association has been testing car seats for children since 1967.
Test products are selected anonymously from various retailers. Independent laboratories and testing houses are used to perform tests for WHICH
Each seat is tested for safety, comfort and ergonomics.
Following the tests, the car seats receive marks in percentages and grades, some being classified as safety alert products if the percentage obtained is less than 45%.
A good car seat in the interpretation of WHICH has a score higher than 68%.
A key factor to consider is the clarity of the instructions and the ease of installing both the car seat and the child in the seat.
WHICH marks the tested seats with the BEST BUY marking (for seats with a score higher than 68%) or DO NOT BUY (for seats with a score lower than 45%).
STIFTUNG WARENTEST testing
Stiftung Warentest is a foundation set up in 1964 by the German Federal Parliament to support consumers with impartial and objective information based on the results of comparative investigations of goods and services.
This foundation anonymously buys car seats from various retailers.
For testing they use independent test houses that test the car seats according to the specifications of Stiftung Warentest.
They publish the verdict which can range from Very Good to Unsatisfactory, and this verdict is based on 100% objective results.
The impact test Plus aims to verify whether or not the body of the child sitting in the car seat is subjected to deadly forces in the event of a frontal collision. This test is being conducted in Sweden, a country that is a leader in child car safety.
Tommy Pettersson, head of the VTI Testing Laboratory in Linköping, created the standard in 2009 to test how a car seat protects the huge forces acting on the child’s neck area during an impact.
The Impact Test Plus is an additional test conducted by VTI, the Swedish National Research Institute for Roads and Transport, and is applied to car seats for the Swedish market. The car seats are tested on all available seats for installation in the car, and the test is done in two versions: for Isofix seats for groups up to 18 kg and for seat belts for groups up to 25 kg.
What many people don’t know is that this standard is extremely harsh and that many car seats are dusted during the test. Here are the 3 factors that make Plus an impact test very difficult to pass:
- Speeds higher than the speeds used for the approval tests of the European standards ECE R44. 04 and R129 or i-Size.
- Very short braking distance, which makes the impact on the seat brutal. The shorter the braking distance, the more intense the forces resulting from the impact.
- To make the Plus test even more difficult, not only are higher speeds and a shorter braking distance used, but the resulting forces in the neck area are also carefully measured by special sensors installed on the test dummy. This is the reason why a chair facing the direction of travel has no chance to pass the Plus test because the impact forces on the neck area, the cervical area are much too great.
A car seat that has passed an impact test Plus gives you the security that the little one’s neck (cervical area) is not exposed to any dangerous force during a frontal collision. No seat facing the direction of travel, an evolutionary seat or an elevator is subjected to the Plus test because it does not work that way.
The Impact Test Plus is a voluntary test and it is up to the manufacturer whether he wants to do it or not.
Seats that have passed the Plus test have higher prices than those tested by the rest of the impact tests.