The safest place for your child’s car seat is the back seat and away from air bags. The reason why car seats are never supposed to be in the front seat and away from air bags is because the air bag could hit the back of a rear-facing car seat, right where your child’s head is, and cause a serious or fatal injury. A child who rides in a forward-facing car seat could also be harmed by an air bag.
The best place to install a car seat is the back seat. Additionally, even better is the center seat in the back row. This is because there is less risk of glass being shattered into the baby’s face and eyes in case of a “T-Bone” car accident. There is also less chance that the baby or child’s arms or legs will hit the car door or any other objects in the even of a car accident.
The US National Library or Medicine posted a study in 2008 that showed that children sitting in the center seat in their car seat are 43% safer than those that are positioned on one side or the other. Additionally, they posted another study in 2008 that showed that people that are in fatal crashes have a 13% increase in survival if they sit in the center seat versus one of the side seats. A lot of this has to do with cars impacting someone who is seated on the side seats versus the center. The center is relatively protected compared to all other seats from being actually touched by a car, telephone pole, or any other outside force in a car accident.
Installing the car seat in the middle of the back seat is very strenuous on some people and some people may not want to have to reach all the way into the center of the car to put their baby. However, a little extra effort can be the difference between making sure your baby is as safe as possible from car accident injuries and not.
Additionally, car seats are big and can take up a lot of room in your back seat forcing you and your passengers in the front seat to move their seats up to an unsafe position in smaller cars. If a car seat is situated in the center back seat, you and your passenger can put your seats back so your legs are not cramped. If they are on one of the sides, you may have a cramped passenger.
The next safest spot is the passenger side rear seat. This is more due to having to take your child out with cars passing you if you park on a busy street if you had him or her seated behind the driver. Car seats are big and can stick out pretty far. You don’t want to be on the busy street side of your car as long as you have to so you don’t get hit by a car or drop your baby on the street.
NEVER put a rearward-facing baby seat in the front if there is an active passenger airbag. It is illegal and dangerous to do so, because if the airbag goes off, it will hit the baby seat and fling it forward with considerable force.Some people are not fortunate to own multiple cars and can’t easily afford to by a new one, whereby their only means of transportation is front row only pickup truck. If it’s necessary for a child to travel in a vehicle such as a pickup truck that has only one row of seats, deactivate the front air bags.