More children face backwards in cars
Press release (Trygg Trafikk): Adults are getting better to make sure the children are properly secured by car. At present, 63 per cent of children between 1 and 3 years sit facing backwards.
The results of 3230 controls made by Safe Traffic and the insurance company If in all six UP districts around the country shows this. This year’s controls show that 63 per cent of children between one and three years now sit in a reverse facing child seat. By comparison, only 20 percent of the children were facing backwards in 2010.
– More and more adults have understood that the children are safest when they sit backwards in a car. The rear-facing car seat is definitely the safest, and safety must go ahead of everything. After all, the children are the most important, and they deserve the highest level of safety possible in a car, says Ann-Kathrin Årøen, Communications Manager in Trygg Trafikk (Safe Traffic).
The reason for toddlers sitting backwards is that the head is large and heavy compared to the neck muscles. Therefore, the risk of neck injury increases if it is thrown forward in an accident. With reverse-facing safety, the pressure will be distributed throughout the area from the head to the back. Trygg Traffikk believes children should sit backwards until they are four years old.
Oslo and northern Norway do best
In Oslo, 72 per cent of the children are facing backwards, followed by northern Norway with 71 per cent. Worst are Western Norway. There the proportion is still only a little over half, 53 percent.
– Some adults do not know that rear-facing seats are safest. Others think it’s more comfortable for the child to sit facing the driving direction. Several also say that they do not put the child backwards because they want to see the child during the ride, or find it too narrow between the seats. We are clear that safety must take precedence over everything, says Årøen.
Positive development for children
In the 1970s around one hundred children died in traffic every year. Now there’s almost no one. Much of the explanation lies in the fact that the children are using correct car seats, are firmly attached and that more and more face backwards until they are four years old.
– Many parents probably remember that they were lying on the hat rack or playing in the car seat without neither a special seat nor seatbelt. It did not always end well. Many lost their lives or were seriously injured because the safety was not good enough, says Jan Olav Nilssen, leader of injury prevention work in If.
If has collaborated with Trygg Traffikk on securing children by car for many years. The insurance company has also rented out more than 150,000 safe car seats to its customers since 1993.
– Even though more and more people are safeguarding the children, there are still too many people who take it easy and think they only need a short trip and that “it’s going to be okay”. Every year children get seriously injured in traffic. Rear-facing child seat is the single most important measure you can take to ensure your child’s safety, Nilssen firmly concludes.
Control results divided up by Traffic Police (UP) districts
- Oslo: 72 per cent
- North (Nordland, Troms and Finnmark): 71 per cent
- East (Østfold, Hedmark, Oppland, Akershus): 66 per cent
- Center (Møre og Romsdal, South- and North-Trøndelag): 65 per cent
- South (Buskerud, Vestfold, Telemark, Agder-counties): 55 per cent
- West (Rogaland, Hordaland, Sogn og Fjordane): 53 per cent
© Trygg Trafikk / Norway Today