Accredited crash testing, child restraint systems
The VTI crash safety laboratory is the only one in Sweden to perform accredited crash testing of child restraint systems.
Child restraint systems, ECE R44
E-approval is European, and such mandatory testing and approval is governed by the ECE Regulation 44. ECE stands for the Economic Commission for Europe. In Sweden, the Transport Agency issues E-approval after tests at VTI. The approval is valid for all countries that have accepted the regulation.
The test is based on different weight groups:
- Group 0: 0–10 kg, or approximately 0–1 years
- Group 0+: 0–13 kg, or approximately 0–1½ years
- Group 1: 9–18 kg, or approximately 1–3 years
- Group 2: 15–25 kg, or approximately 3–6 years
- Group 3: 22–36 kg, or approximately 6–10 years.
The VTI crash laboratory has long and extensive experience of this type of testing and was among the first laboratories in the world to perform tests on child restraint systems. VTI has also been involved in the design of the testing and its methods. It all began in the 1960s when researchers at VTI became interested in the area. VTI has since participated actively in the development of the tests and crash protection for children in cars, and is in many respects responsible for the high safety requirements that currently apply to children in cars in Sweden and many other countries.
Child restraint systems, Plus Test
The Plus Test is a voluntary test, inheriting thoughts about important protection of head and neck from an older national child restraint approval. In a Plus Test, the forces subjected to a child's neck in a frontal collision are measured. The Plus Test is an additional test carried out on seats designed for the Swedish market. This form of testing is not conducted anywhere else in Europe and is not included in an E-approval. An E-approved child restraint system meets all the statutory requirements for sale in Sweden, but a seat that has passed the Plus Test gives the child additional safety. A seat that has passed the Plus Test is E-approved for installation in every seat row in a car. Such seats ensure that child passengers are not subjected to life-threatening high neck forces in a frontal collision.
The Plus Test has been developed through collaboration between VTI, NTF (Swedish National Society for Road Safety), Folksam, SIS (Swedish Standards Institute), Volvo and representatives of manufacturers of child restraint systems.
Child restraint systems, prototype testing
The VTI crash laboratory also carries out prototype testing of child restraint systems. The testing has many elements, including dynamic testing, component testing, strength testing and burn rate testing.
For consumer-oriented safety information about children in cars and car seats for children, we refer to NTF. Here you can find, among other things, a car seat market overview and more information about the additional Swedish Plustest: