According to research conducted by VicRoads and the RACV greater than 70% of Australian childs seats are incorrectly fitted.
Fitting three child seats across the rear seat of many vehicles is not always possible. The above photo shows a recent successful Safe In Motion installation of 3 baby seats into a Subaru Forester.
Key factors to consider
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A comon misconception is the tighter the seat the safer it is. In reality an over tight seat is just causing damage to your vehicle. We recommend that your seat is firmly secured as per the manufactures guidelines.
Check the owner’s handbook of your vehicle and follow the index carefully being sure that you are reading ‘Australian child restraint advice’ not international information. Failing the availability of an owner’s handbook, call the vehicle manufacturers distributor or call Safe In Motion directly and they can confirm upon inspection.
No. You must only connect to the designated anchor location. Hooking up anything else maybe unsafe. It may also create loadings on other vehicle components that have not been tested under collision conditions.
No. This type of modification can only be done if it can be SURE that the seat frame and recliner mechanism will not collapse under the increased collision loadings. (Engineering approval is required).
Safe In Motion can handle all anchor point installation and modification needs across a vast range of vehicles. Simply call with your vehicle type and requirements for a quote.
Ideally No. For a more satisfactory fitment and one, which is less likely to cause unnecessary injury to all passengers, we suggest a firm fitment.
Despite a common opinion, pushing on a restraint is not a valid test and may only loosen the seatbelt’s relationship with the restraint. If you want a firmer fitment, then there are many ways that can be achieved. Your particular restraint may have device that can contribute to that, otherwise a ‘Gated buckle’ or deploying the ALR seatbelt (if available) may be useful for this purpose.
If you’re unsure of your current child restraint fitment you need to consult with us for guidance.
Going by the Australian Standards, engineering and testing processes a restraint does not have to be ‘rock solid’ to be safe. Be mindful that even mild tension on the vehicle seat cushion may damage the vehicles trim, especially leather trim. Restraints can also be damaged by over-tensioning.
As tight and comfortable as possible. You should not be able to pinch a fold in a chest strap. No slack, No twists.
Many vehicle seats do not provide a suitable angle for baby’s safe and comfortable travel needs, so the angle of an infant restraint may need to be adjusted. Towels are very versatile for this purpose. Your vehicle may not need this but, if it does then a towel may assist in doing the job properly.
Rearward facing restraints should never be used where there is a forward mounted air bag. Keep children away from air bag systems. If you must use a front seat position, then the recommendation is that only forward facing child restraints be fitted.
Children should always travel in the rear seats if possible. Keep children away from air bag positions if possible.
The road rules states 7 years of age as a minimum guide.
The road rules do allow for a passenger of less than 7 years of age in the front seat under certain circumstances, but the passengers’ level of safety is what matters most.
The ‘safest’ answers are generally:
We should keep our youngest children travelling rearward facing as long as we can, based on each personal circumstances. Eg: How large a child can your restraint product cater for rear facing (There are several different types).
Current Road Rules requires 6 months of age minimum for forward facing. After 6 months rear facing it becomes dependent on the parents decision if their child is ready to turn around based on size, comfort etc. The association recommends as a general rule ‘rear for a year.’
Despite the age range that seat manufactures dictate it is the maximum size indicators in the seat that determine if the child has grown out of the restraint.