Rear-facing paves the way for a safer Europe

May 5 is Child Safety Day. In connection with this, the Gothenburg-based car seat company Axkid introduces “Back to the Future” – an initiative that is all about making traffic safer through rear-facing travel for children. There is currently no legislation in neither Sweden nor Europe regarding rear-facing car seats, which in the long run could save lives.

Do not turn your child’s car seat too soon . This is what we at Axkid want to encourage with the campaign “Back to the Future”. Children who travel forward-facing are up to five times more likely to die or be seriously injured in traffic, according to statistics from the Swedish Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen). Over the past ten years, 8,100 children have died in on roads all over Europe. According to statistics from the European Union, fewer deaths occur in the Nordic countries while higher death rates can be seen in Eastern Europe. The Swedish recommendation is that children should sit rear-facing until at least four years of age. However, this recommendation is all too often being overlooked. According to Folksam’s latest survey, 70 percent of Swedish children are already riding forward-facing at the age of four. In the rest of Europe, children are often already turned forward-facing at the age of one, something that is shown in the large number of fatal accidents.

As a first step in this transition, Axkid has created a global information campaign. The campaign page serves as an arena for participation with the aim of gathering voices and support to push the issue of child traffic safety in Europe.

  • A change must take place as soon as possible. The most valuable thing we have is our children, but despite this, there is no legislation that ensures their safety in traffic. With the initiative “Back to the Future”, we hope to engage and create debate about children’s right to the highest safety.

Daniel Johanson, CEO of Axkid.

Neither a national nor a European vision of zero road deaths can be fulfilled without increased usage of rear-facing car seats. Despite the fact that Sweden is a pioneering country when it comes to road safety and traffic research, which has made some impression on the rest of Europe, children are seriously injured in traffic as a result of using forward-facing car seats too early. Therefore, stronger legislation and stricter requirements are needed.

  • The facts are clear, Frontal crash tests show that the forces acting on the neck is up to five times greater when the child sits forward-facing compared to rear-facing. A rear-facing car seat’s biggest advantage is that it supports the child’s entire back, neck and head, distributing the crash forces over a larger area and therefore significantly reduces the forces imposed on the neck.

Daniel Lundgren, Safety & Compliance Manager of Axkid.

Major car manufacturers are working to ensure that children can travel safely in traffic. As an example, Volvo Cars, with whom Axkid’s recently signed an agreement, is investing in intelligent AI systems to prevent accidents. Despite automakers urging us to use them, car seats for children are often not utilized properly or enough by consumers. Unfortunately, traffic accidents will continue to occur. It is therefore important to raise awareness of safety measures as simple as rear-facing car seats. However, we need more people to take responsibility and commit to a safer Europe.

  • With “Back to the Future” we want to look forward to tougher requirements and legislation on rear-facing travel throughout Europe. But we can’t do it on our own. All parties, from the individual parent to the biggest players in the market, all have to help out and contribute. In the end, it’s about one thing – saving children’s lives.

Daniel Johanson

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