How is the RideSafer safe and legal when these are not…
There have been illegal “car seats” for sale that you have to be watchful for but… the RideSafer is not one of them.
The RideSafer is a safe and legal and certified to US federal standards (FMVSS 213).
In recent years, car seat experts have made parents aware of the “child safety seat” or “booster seats” being sold on sites like Amazon or eBay and advertised on Facebook that are not safe to use or legal to use in the US as a child restraint. Often times these “car seats” are from unknown foreign manufacturers and don’t say anything about meeting federal motor vehicle standards (specifically FMVSS 213).
We applaud this effort to inform parents of potentially dangerous products but we suspect it has created some confusion in the marketplace. We have had some well-intentioned people even make comments about the RideSafer on our social media platforms like: “It’s not safe” or “It’s not legal.” These comments are simply untrue.
It’s possible these individuals have never heard of or done their homework on the RideSafer or its manufacturer, Safe Traffic Systems, and they seem to have inaccurately lumped the RideSafer vests into this unsafe and illegal category of products.
So what is the difference then?
If you look at the products claiming to be child restraints, some of these restraints use the seat belt to restrain the system and expect the cloth system to restrain the child. Some don’t even use the seat belt at all; these use their own straps to wrap the seat.
4/17/17 Please note: For a while we couldn’t find these, at least on their original listings on Amazon, but they seem to be back with a vengeance from various other places and advertised a lot on Facebook.
While the companies selling these are saying they are safe and meet ECE standards based on third party ISO 9001 testing, ECE car seat standards (specifically ECE R44/04) require a child be elevated so obviously this in incorrect information. Also ISO 9001 testing is an international standard that specifies quality management; it has nothing to do with car seat standards or testing.
The crash energy involved in restraining a child is extreme, even in a minor crash. The formula we teach parents is speed x weight = amount of force needed to restrain. A 30 pound child in a 30 mile per hour crash would put over 900 pounds of force in the restraint harness to prevent that child from flying through the windshield, not to mention the other injuries that may occur. Just fabric will not hold up to that amount of force.
As you can see in this video, it’s not effective as a car seat.
(video courtesy of Surrey County Council & Britax)
You can read more information about these seats — how they work and why they are not safe —, certification and legal labeling requirements (which these seats don’t meet) on CarSeatBlog.com.
So is the RideSafer safe?
Take a look at a similar view of a crash test with the RideSafer, a child restraint certified to FMVSS 213.
So now you may be asking, “OK, but how can this little vest keep my child as safe as a big bulky car seat or booster seat?”
All reports of real-life crashes proclaim the RideSafer performs great and kept their child safe. (You can find some of these parents’ reviews in the old model reviews.) There have been no recalls since its inception in 2004.
Car accidents can be tragic and we as parents want to keep our kids as safe as possible. So here is what makes the RideSafer different than these other devices — and better than a booster, we think —:
- RideSafer uses the seat belt to restrain the child.
- There is an internal harness system in the vest (more visible now with the new model) which is made of webbing similar to a seat belt (but wider and with padding to absorb more crash energy).
- The vest positions a vehicle’s seat belt on your child so it moves with him, maintaining proper belt positioning throughout the ride.
- The lap guides keep the lap belt going across the hips, protecting precious internal organs.
- The shoulder guide which safely holds the shoulder belt in place, away from the neck, ensuring your child feels comfortable and secured. (The vest removes his desire to tuck the belt behind his back or under his arm, an unsafe practice that often happens with a backless booster.)
- By keeping your child low and further back in the vehicle seat, Ride Safer improves how well a child experiences crash energy and reduces head and knee injuries.
- Its innovative energy-absorbing padding means crash energy will spread across a wider area.
- This revolutionary “car seat” has been crash tested as a harness restraint and meets — mostly exceeds — all U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS 213) crash test requirements.
The RideSafer® Travel Vest can give you peace of mind with its impressive crash performance. (Additional crash test numbers and videos can be viewed here.)
The RideSafer has been available in the U.S. since 2004. Marketed primarily as solution for children with special needs in the beginning, the vest has only caught the attention of more parents as a solution for travel, 3 across or carpooling in the very recent years.
We want to know, what did you think when you first heard about the RideSafer? Share your comments below.
By Amie Durocher, Creative Director at Safe Ride 4 Kids and certified CPS Tech since 2004
Copyright 2016 Safe Ride 4 Kids. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.