The Toughest Crash Test In The World
The Swedish Plus - an optional test was founded in 2009to encouraging manufacturers of car seats to develop safer seats as a result of concern that European car seats were not crash tested to a sufficient standard to be sold in Sweden. The main creator of this test was tommy Pettersson, head of the VTI Shock Laboratory in Linkoping, Sweden
By studying real accidents where children suffered severe injuries in their head and neck, new lower-stress limits were introduced as an important safety criterion.The Plus Test is the hardest test that exists today and the only one that guarantees your child is not exposed to excessive forces on the neck that can threaten his/her life during a collision, since it has been shown that a child cannot withstand a cervical effort greater than 130kg and in the Plus Test this force is measured using a maximum allowed limit of 122kg.
What many do not know is that is is an extremely hard test, in which many of the car seats tested end up completely destroyed. There are three main factors that make passing the Plus Test extremely difficult;
1. Higher speed used during the test 56kph compared to the 50kph used by European approvals ECC R44 and UN-ECC R129 (also known as i-Size).
2. Shorter, very short braking distance which makes the impact on the car seat much more violent since, the shorter the braking distance, the greater the deceleration and, therefore the more intense the forces received in the impact.
As a parent you have read with certainty that the car seat you choose should also be Europe approved and E-marked according to the ECE regulations. What does not seem clear is what it means or how the tests were made. Of course, it is the upmost importance that the car seat you choose to buy for your child is EU approved, but tests carried out by the ECE regulations do not take into account the forces on the neck. It is therefore also important to ensure your car seat is also Plus tested.
All car seats approved according to ECE R44 have been crash tested, but what some people do not know is that a rear-facing car seat is tested in both a front and rear impact. This means that the rear facing car seat must be able to withstand a frontal and rear to be approved. Unlike forward facing seats which only have to be tested in frontal impacts to meet the ECE approval.