no38 2002
The Child Restraint System - No Magic Chair

  Effective from April 1, 2000, Japan requires the use of a child restraint system (CRS) for each child vehicle occupant up to 5 years old. As a result the number of CRS in use has rapidly increased and their protective effects have become more and more evident.
  But it has also become clear that the CRS is no almighty magic chair: If used incorrectly, the CRS cannot provide the expected protection. In this report, we will look into road accident statistics to determine the injury reducing effects of CRS in relation to the type of accident and the manner of CRS use.

1. Steepest Rise in Casualties to Up-to-5 Year Olds
2. Up-to-5 Year Old Casualties during Use/Non-use of CRS
3. Life Saving Effect of Child Restraint Systems
4. Direction of Collision and Protective Effect of CRS
5. Risks of Incorrect Use of Child Restraint Systems
5.1. Ejection from CRS Positions
5.2. CRS and Injury Patterns

  Child restraint systems vary widely in their types and installation methods, and their child protection effects cannot be fully realized unless the CRS is correctly attached to a car seat and unless the child is correctly restrained in the CRS.
  While the widespread use of CRS is desirable, this has been accompanied by an increase in the incorrect use of CRS. To enlighten the public on correct CRS use, CRS demonstrations for vehicle users are staged in many communities, and we hopes that more vehicle users will take part in these CRS information events.
  At the same time it is important for dealers to ensure the communication of CRS how-to's to the vehicle users, for example by handing out intelligible owner's manuals containing instructions on correct CRS use. Also, CRS manufacturers are advised to observe the following points when developing a CRS:

(1) The procedure for CRS installation must be simple.
(2) A CRS must be installable without much muscular work.
(3) A minor error in CRS installation must not result in a major impairment of child protection performance.
(4) It must be easy for the vehicle user to check if the CRS has been installed properly.

  The child restraint system is not a magic chair capable of total child protection. Just as a safety belt to the adult, a CRS protects the child from a fatal or serious injury. And it is the adult who can protect the child through the correct use of a CRS.

Institute for Traffic Accident Research and Data Analysis (ITARDA)