Keeping our kids safe while we’re driving is every parent’s top concern, and we’d like to address one related issue that’s come up a few times in the last decade.
Built-in car seats have stirred controversy a few times in recent years, and we’d like to take a look at whether they’re really a good idea.
Built-In Car Seats Today
Dodge started integrating child seats into their Caravan design in the 1990s. The middle seat folds down to reveal a built-in booster seat that will accommodate a child up to 50 lbs. Several other car makers have since also begun integrating booster seats.
Volvo came out with a luxury concept in 2015 that features a built-in rear-facing, adjustable, and removable infant car seat complete with a storage drawer and built-in bottle-holder and warmer.
Convenience – Both the earlier booster seats and the Volvo’s luxury seats focus first and foremost on convenience. Parents don’t have to worry about whether they strapped the seat in properly, and they essentially stow themselves when they’re not in use. Volvo’s seat automatically disables the airbag when the seat is in place, so the driver doesn’t have to remember to do it manually.
Less Distraction – This rear-facing seat is designed to have someone seated across from the child, so the driver won’t have to worry about what’s going on inside the vehicle and can concentrate more fully on the road.
Mobility – While the child carrier is removable, the built-in booster seats are fixed. This poses a problems, since emergency workers will typically remove the entire seat after an accident to avoid jostling the child. A fixed seat makes this impossible.
Location – Volvo’s seat places the child seat in the front of the car, which is considered dangerous because of the passenger airbag. Though the car automatically disables the airbag when the child seat is in place, experts say the airbag could still be accidentally deployed during a collision.
Configuration Catch 22 – Small children should ideally always be place in a rear-facing position so that they don’t suffer a whiplash injury in the event of an accident. However, any design that allows a caregiver and child to face each other will either place the child at risk of being struck by the airbag or of facing the wrong direction during an accident.
We want to know, what do you think about built-in car seats, a good thing or no? Share your comments below.
Guest post: Karen Devons writes for 1800Injured, which helps people suffering from whiplash symptoms or other car accident injuries to get the medical care and legal compensation that they deserve.
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