An evaluation of crash protection of booster seats for children
This study examined the suitability of booster seats for children across a wide age range. HyGe sled tests were conducted using a large vehicle buck with booster seats fitted in the rear seat. Four conditions were evaluated: three with booster seats with (i) standard adult seatbelt, (ii) seatbelt plus H-harness and crotch strap, and (iii) seatbelt plus H-harness with crotch strap disengaged (simulating real-world misuse); and a fourth test (iv) with the dummy restrained in an adult seatbelt only. For tests (ii) and (iii), booster seats were fixed to the vehicle with a retrofitted ISOFIX system and top-tether. This modification was consistent with proposed changes to the AS1754, which apply to forward-facing restraints (but not boosters). Results suggest that, with appropriate modifications, booster seats may provide a suitable option for children represented by 3 year old and 6 year old dummies. Head acceleration and neck injury data suggested that the boosters provided superior protection to that of an adult seatbelt. Tests with H-harnesses showed that the crotch strap was critical in eliminating ?sub -marining?. Findings highlighted the potential for serious injury with H-harnesses misuseand identified areas fordesign improvement of boosterseats.