ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

An evaluation of crash protection of booster seats for children

Charlton, Judith, Fildes, Brian, Laemmle, Ron, Koppel, Sjaanie, Fechner, Liam, Moore, Kristen, Smith, Stuart, Douglas, Fiona, Doktor, Irena (Peer reviewed)

Vehicle Safety


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.