Rear-facing vs. Forward-facing

Parents are always excited to watch their little ones reach the next big milestone, but switching their car seat is a milestone that shouldn’t be rushed. The focus shouldn’t be on “being big enough” to move to a forward-facing seat, but instead should be on keeping a child in a rear-facing seat until he reaches the height and/or weight limit of the seat. Most kids don’t reach the height and/or weight limits of today’s rear-facing convertible car seats until around 2-4 years old, but 77% of children are moved into a forward-facing seat too soon. If you could keep your child 5 times safer, would you?


Łukasz Sechman says:

Marketing video made just for advertising. The child is not able to bend in this manner in the seat facing the direction of travel as it keeps her belt, on this video you can see that the belt is flexible … and extends ….

Bill V. says:

I always keep a far distance between the vehicle I’m driving and the one ahead of me so I worry more about being hit from behind by a distracted driver which can cause injury to the baby’s neck and head if the seat is facing the rear.  I’d rather move out of lane to keep any tailgater off my back. That said, I thank God many of us old timers survived without seatbelts, child seats and even riding on back of pickup trucks.

BedsitBob says:

Of course, this only applies in a head-on collision.

If you are rear-ended, the reverse applies.

In a side impact, both seats will be equal.

shellbell114 says:

With “thanks to Graco” yet my milestone car seat only last up until 29lbs opposed to the joie which rear faces until 4 years

Ms. Woodard says:

I wonder why on just about all the car seat testing videos I see brown dummy babies? Just curious

Tattoomama_11 says:

Follow your state law and if it says to follow your seats guide lines then do that! The seats would not say you can turn them around if it were not safe. The issue is NOT the seats or direction it’s facing! It is how the PARENT installs the seat and how they tighten and adjust the straps and chest bucket! Once you install a seat take your vehicle and child to a fire station or police station and they will tell you if it’s properly installed and if you have you’re baby in the seat properly! Gahhhh this topic is so frustrating!!!!

Mommyxofxtwins says:

I love how people ARGUE with facts and science!! thank you for this video! still rear-facing my almost 2 year old!



Emily Amps says:

Thank you!!!!

serve24 says:

Ok, but wouldn’t the reverse be true if the car is hit from behind? In that case the person rear facing would fly forward and the forward facing person would be supported.

Crystal W says:

I drive a Prius and have my rear facing Diono behind the front passenger seat. My son is two years and 10 months and is in the 99th percentile for height. He still rides rear facing and looks to have at least another year before he outgrows the seat and has to be turned around. My six-foot tall husband rides comfortably in the passenger seat in front of the car seat. We do use the angle adjuster from Diono ( it gives more room in the front seat).
Turning your child around is something to lament and do only when they outgrow the constraints of the seat. It is not a milestone and it is not anything to look forward to.

Barbara Hecht says:

Rear facing is best as long as they fit, but this video was a little overdramatized. They obviously did not have the shoulder straps tight. There is no way my kids could ever move that much. Maybe their neck, but not their whole body.

The Traveler says:

Yeah but if you get rear ended the front facing would be better. Side impacts wouldn’t matter. So this is only based off head on collisions or if your the one doing the rear ending.

Serial Killers Documentaries says:

There are more impacts from the back than from the front, so this is not a rule. Depends if YOU hit or you get hit.

m ünlü says:

What if your car takes a rear impact? same thing happens when your child is rear facing. Use you brain for god’s sake. But yes on long journeys rf is better but it will be better to ff in city traffic.

Yamileth Sant says:

My 12 months is in rear-facing but Im worried when should I change her to the forward-facing because her weight is between 23lb and her height is 30″. So please tell me wheter I can be afraid or not when I’m driving. THANK YOU!!

Ericka Gómez says:

Silly question but does it matter whether you head crash or get rear ended? Will the motion of the impact be the same? Physics was not my thing.

Bryan Rose says:

Unfortunately there is no correct answer as to what is safer, this test merely changed one variable and drew a conclusion. Fact is that the only truly safe way to minimize the risk is to stay home. Otherwise what is more safe in one scenario is not the same as the scenario is changed. I’d like to see the results for rear impact and what is better in that situation so a truly informed decision could be made.

kelswild says:

I would like to know the scenario in which this crash is played out? No where does it say the direction from which the impact was made, as surely if the impact was made from the opposite direction, then the opposite would be true in terms of which way the child seat should face? If we are going on the fact that this is a front impact collision are we therefore also saying that parents are bad drivers? As a parent myself I find myself being more cautious when driving to ensure that an accident doesn’t occur, yet that can’t be said for other road users!

Kimberly Wilkinson says:

is it possible to get a downloadable copy of this video?

Bryan Rose says:

This is showing a frontal impact and the reactions from that type of hit, but if the vehicle is from behind then the physics reverse and so the benefit of rear vs. front impact is cancelled out.
I also question the child’s strapping into the car seat since with properly tight shoulder straps and chest buckle there is no way for that much movement from the shoulders down if the seat is properly securing the child.
I’m all for safety but disagree strenuously with the conclusions drawn from this video, and the methodology used to get to those conclusions.

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