car seat on outboard- which side? - Mothering Forums
Family Safety > car seat on outboard- which side?
grumpybear's Avatar grumpybear 01:31 AM 02-02-2009
Is there a side that is statistically less risky?
I'll be moving DS' RF Radian from center to outboard in a pound or two .
Because of the long buckle stalks of the Subaru, I'm doubtful that we will have a secure installation in the center so we'll have to use LATCH in the outboard.
Is there a preferred side (driver vs passenger)?

MacKinnon's Avatar MacKinnon 01:47 AM 02-02-2009
I haven't seen the data (and don't know the hard numbers) but one of the instructors I work with says that the drivers side is safer because of the exposed passenger side when making left hand turns.
inky leeuhhh's Avatar inky leeuhhh 02:23 AM 02-02-2009
Originally Posted by ilovemyavery View Post
I haven't seen the data (and don't know the hard numbers) but one of the instructors I work with says that the drivers side is safer because of the exposed passenger side when making left hand turns.
sorry, im not trying to steal this thread, but i had a similar question. i have heard the above statement too. so, when dd2 is born in april- she will be rf in her infant seat, and dd1 will be ff in a regent. dd2 should in the passenger side (the possibly less safe side) because she is rf, and therefore more protected than dd1 would be, correct? i can't get one in the middle and one outboard in my camry because the regent takes up so much room, so they both have to be outboard. thanks!
syd'smom's Avatar syd'smom 02:48 AM 02-02-2009
The car seat tech that installed our seat said there is a tiny difference that makes the driver's side a bit safer. We have captain's seats in out minivan, so when we have our 2nd, she actually suggested putting the toddler on the passenger side and the newborn on the driver's side. That way my toddler/preschooler would be able to climb into her seat from the curb side, and then I carry the baby to my side.
ashleyhaugh's Avatar ashleyhaugh 01:10 PM 02-02-2009
i have my ds on the passenger side so i can reach him when im driving to give him stuff
Novella's Avatar Novella 03:02 PM 02-02-2009
Originally Posted by ilovemyavery View Post
says that the drivers side is safer because of the exposed passenger side when making left hand turns.
I've read this as well, but would like an expert to comment. I've heard the claim refuted, b/c when you are making a left-hand turn, you are exposed both front and rear.

Many people are rear-ended when making left-hand turns and there are certainly also accidents where the following driver pulls out to make a pass at the time of the turn and the left-turning driver doesn't shoulder-check.

Anecdotally, it appears to me that most of the impacts with left-hand turns are on either front corner of the vehicle (different moments in the early part of the turn) or smack against the rear bumper (ie. when the driver was stopped and waiting to begin the turn). In any of those situations, I can't see that there's a preference for outboard position.

I think it probably comes down to other factors, such as toddler on the curb side and infant (ie. not independently mobile) on the street side.
DahliaRW's Avatar DahliaRW 08:01 PM 02-02-2009
The other thing with the passenger side is that if you're in a collission, the back passenger quarter is where you're suppoed to try to get hit if you have any control over that (or at least that's what we were taught in driver's ed). The idea is, in a collision you want the driver to be as safe as possible so they can maintain control of the car, so try to get hit the furthest away as possible, which is the rear passenger side ideally.

Now practically speaking, in real life, does it make a huge difference? Probably not. But, I still put the most protected child there just because it doesn't hurt to do so.
MamieCole's Avatar MamieCole 08:39 PM 02-02-2009
I am not an expert, just a mom. I think it all comes down to your lifestyle. For me, I have had DS RF outboard passenger side with LATCH since he was born because we do a lot of parallel parking in the city. It is a lot less stressful for me to try to get him in and out on the sidewalk side without the worry of the door being open too much into the street or a car sideswiping us.

As far as driving and making left turns, I think it also depends on where you drive. I almost got into a head-on collision once when making a right turn. I checked both ways, there was no traffic in my lane and there were two cars oncoming the opposite way at a distance. Just as I was turning right into my lane, the second oncoming car pulled out to pass the car in front of it. (It was a no passing zone, but guess that didn't matter to the driver) Thankfully I had time to get onto the shoulder to avoid the accident, but the reality is that you can get hit on any side, from any direction at any time.
MacKinnon's Avatar MacKinnon 01:00 AM 02-03-2009
Well, I am an expert... Not to sound snarky I am a CPST Instructor, so I teach the CPS Techs. I have one instructor peer that advocates the driver side as safer. She works for a major insurance provider and says MI data has indicated the driver side is safer. The other Instructors I work with regularly do not feel there is a big benifit to one side or the other and do not advocate such. The NHTSA CPST curriculum does not teach one side as safer. Most data indicates that they are statiscally the same or that there is a 1 to 2% difference in safety, with the driver side being safest. It is recomended that if you have to pick one side or the other, you pick the passenger side so that children can be safely unloaded at the curb. It is also important to consider how close your seat is to the dash, as air bags can be dangerous to adults that are too close, so if you need one more room for a driver, like we do, that should be a consideration. In my vehicle, my DD is behind me forward facing and my DS is on the passenger side rear facing. Mostly just because my DH is more likely to drive and needs the extra room. When it was just me and DD and she was outboard, she went on the drivers side because I was not going to walk all the way around! I probably should have posted all this yesterday, I was tired!