Before we go into detail I would like to mention that the primary audience for the RideSafer is a “booster age” child. There are benefits to the RideSafer, especially when you consider a backless booster which does not offer any of the side/padding protections. Some things to consider:
- Side impacts are one of the least frequent types of car crashes statistically
- Side impacts are also one of the most preventable types of car crashes. What I mean is that we, as the driver of our vehicle, have to put ourselves in front of an oncoming car. Almost always we can see far enough down the road to identify wether or not oncoming traffic is or is not stopping. In 18 years in the fire service I never saw a side impact occur in the middle of a block.
- With concern to padding and support let’s look at what happens in a crash. All objects in a vehicle will move simultaneously toward the point of impact and that includes the occupants and all child restraints. I think we as parents have a vision of our child flying into a “rigid” car seat but in reality you might be surprised how far a “correctly installed” car seat moves in a crash.
- Envision something like stalks of wheat being blown in the wind. Though they are very close to each other they are all being blown in the same direction and therefore if they do make contact it is likely a very low energy event because they are all moving the same direction reducing the odds of any kind of high energy impact with a neighboring object.
- The vehicle itself has crash protection like side airbags that engage to offer protection for older children and adult passengers