View Full Version : Car Seat Location

04-15-2003, 07:14 PM
This is a question specifically for the car techs out there: We live in Okinawa, Japan I've noticed LOTS of people here use the front seat for their children (actually, the majority of Okinawans don't use car seats at all!) The cars used here don't have airbags so that isn't a problem. Also the main roads are limited to 40 kph (just under 24 mph) so high-speed crashes are virtually unheard of. Are there other reasons for keeping your children in the backseat? What with all the head turning for crackers, sippy cups, and "uh-oh"s I sometimes wonder if it wouldn't be safer to have my daughter beside me. Any of you safety techs want to weigh in on this?

Thanks for your help!

Jen in Okinawa
Mom to Noelle (10/25/01)

04-18-2003, 02:28 PM
Statistics in the USA show the rear seat to have a 30% lower risk of fatal injury to children, even if the vehicle is not equipped with an airbag. The proximity to the dash means a higher risk of intrustion and of the child striking a hard part of the interior. Less distance to the point of a frontal impact also can mean less crush space and ride down time to reduce the forces from the crash. Of course, statistics may be much different in other countries- and at some point may balance the risk you take if you are often distracted or looking/leaning back while driving.