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Car seat placement- safer in rear passenger side or driver side?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I know this has probably been asked a trillion times but I searched the archives and couldn't find it. I have a honda civic 2006 hybrid. Is it better to put my rear facing convertible behind the drivers side or the passenger side?

post #2 of 9
I've always heard the drivers side is safest if it cant be in the middle.
post #3 of 9
Originally Posted by kibba View Post
I've always heard the drivers side is safest if it cant be in the middle.
Actually statistically, the driver's side of the car is more likely to be involved in a side impact than the passenger side.

The difference is negligible, though. Ultimately, it's a jugement call, but I always put my least protected child in the most protected position.
post #4 of 9
The suggested placement of your child (assuming one) is in the middle rear passenger seat (the caveat being if correct install of the seat can be achieved there). For 2 or more children....the forward facing youngest child is safest in the middle rear. The rearfacing child (and other remaining occupants) should be placed in either of the rear outboard positions. Technically, if you are in a crash, the side of impact becomes the less safe side of the two...so it becomes 50/50 when trying to choose between the rear passenger side vs. the rear driver's side. It was once thought the passenger side outboard position was slightly safer than the driver's side rear outboard, however the percentage is slim. (1-2 %) Because the rearfacing child is better protected due to the postition they face, coupled with the design of the shell of the seat which "cocoons" them, that is why it is recommended to put them in an outboard position when securing more than 1 child.

There are four types of crashes. Frontal, Lateral, Rear-end, and Rollover.

The frontal crash is not necessarily the most severe, but is the most frequent type of crash. The lateral (or T-bone crash) crash is typically the most deadly. There is typically less space between the encroaching vehicle and the occupants of the struck vehicle, thus more severe injuries can occur. There are minor differences between fatalities between the right and left side of the vehicle...it just depends on where the impact takes place.
The rear-end crash accounts for just 3 1/2% of fatalities. Typically these types of crashes occur when both vehicles are moving forward, or when the front vehicle is stopped.
The roll over crash involves the vehicle rolling over onto its side or top, one time or many times. This type of crash is typically fatal as it often results in ejection from the vehicle. Ejected occupants are 4 times more likely to die.

CPS Instructor
post #5 of 9
Thanks so much for the info....Now if you could just reiterate how rear-facing is safest for as long as possible.
post #6 of 9
I put all of my babies directly behind the driver (bucket seats, van) so the passenger (my hubby) could attend to them if need be.
post #7 of 9
well I'm not sure what statistics you are reading, but I hang out on the carseat.org message boards a lot and I have always read behind the driver is second best. One reason being is the way your body reacts in accident is to swerve in a way that would protect yourself, and also when going through streets youre more likely to notice someone coming on the left then you are the right.
post #8 of 9
Like PP said - I think driver's side is safest because the driver instinctively protects themselves in the event of an impact. Well, it was on a recent episode of The Office, anyway.
post #9 of 9
The safest side is the one that isn't hit. It's pretty much 50/50. Some parents/caregivers who have no center rear seat (or who cannot achieve a good install in the center) prefer the passenger outboard because they can attend to or see the baby easier at stop lights etc. And then on the flip side you have those who prefer the driver's rear outboard because they frequently have an SO who rides with them who can turn more easily to attend to babe if need be. Parents have also mentioned they prefer the driver's side outboard because it's on the same side as they are (putting baby in and get in yourself without having to walk around the car).

BTW, I highly recommend if you are in the market for a new vehicle, that you purchase one with side curtain airbags (preferably front passengers AND rear outboard passengers) and research the vehicles crash test data and occupant protection stats strenuously before purchase.

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