RWF as a safety patent
Rearward-facing children transport is five times safer than forward-facing. This is an argument difficult to discuss with. However, not everyone knows where the idea of carrying children backwards comes from. Considering the fact that according to Statens Vegvesen, Scandinavia has the lowest car accident rate in the world, it should come as no surprise that Swedes were the pioneers in the safe transport of children in cars. The very history of rearward-facing dates back to the early 1960s.
The RWF author was Professor Bertil Aldman who inspired by the position of astronauts during take-off and landing, stated that carrying children in the rearward-facing seats can increase their safety when travelling. Specifically, the professor paid attention to what happens with the child in frontal collisions because of the child body proportions and how the forces affect given parts of its body. However, Thomas Turbell is considered to be the father of the rearward-facing, who dealt with testing various car seats at the VTI institute. It was Turbell who discovered that children in rearward-facing seats are 92% less likely to be injured in accidents than these in front-facing seats which reduce this risk by only 60%. It should be noted that since the 1960s, i.e. from the thought of safe children car transport, only the technology of child safety seats production has actually changed. However, it took a long time before parents around the world could use any child seat. In the USA this began to change in the 1980s, and in some European countries the first seats were only introduced in the 1990s. Over time, the Swedish rearward-facing driving ideas began to permeate into increasingly aware consumers in other countries’ markets.
As parents, we can learn about many safety tests, but the RWF statistics and tests combined with accident statistics clearly show that for their safety, children should be transported rearward-facing for as long as possible. Currently in Sweden it is recommended to drive the child backwards until the child is 4 years old. Although Swedish law does not formally prohibit forward-facing at an earlier age, it is difficult to find a small child who is being transported forward. The RWF car seats are becoming more and more popular but often have to face common opinions that a child sees little or that there is no room for legs. Let us not forget, however, that most of these opinions are myths, and when travelling with a child safety is the most important thing. Let’s model and learn from the Scandinavians, who are safety leaders and experts.