Why is Sweden the world’s safest for protecting children in traffic?

It is a combination of factors with years of public education, where parents, politicians, and researchers work hand in hand to save thousands of lives on roads, making Sweden the safest country in the world when it comes to protecting children in traffic. Did you also know that rear-facing car seat is invented by Sweden? 

In 1997, Sweden implemented “Vision Zero” a plan that has attracted international attention in hopes of eradicating all fatalities and injuries on roads. In recent studies, Sweden has been ranked by the EU to have the safest roads with only one fatality registered in 2015.

Also, with the most rigorous safety test such as the Swedish Plus Test and the use of rear-facing car seats has made Sweden the world’s safest when it comes to protecting children in cars.

Sweden started using rear-facing car seats before other countries in the world and it has led rear-facing research for over more than 40 years. The idea of rear-facing car seats was conceived by Professor Bertil Aldman of Chalmers University in Gothenburg, Sweden. He was inspired by how astronauts travelled rearwards and developed the first prototype in 1964 with the objective to ensure that children are not exposed to life-threatening high-headed forces during a frontal collision.

Since then, parents in Sweden have been aware of the risks they face when their children travel forward-facing, and it has become common knowledge for parents here in Sweden to choose rear-facing car seats for as long as possible. Studies clearly show that rear-facing car seats are much safer than forward-facing options and offer up to five times more protection.

It is no surprise that Plus Test is also a Swedish invention. The Plus Test is one of the most widely-recognized endorsements on an international level in terms of children’s road safety. It is carried out by Swedish Traffic agency at VTI Linköping, University in Sweden. It is meant to ensure that your child is not exposed to life-threatening high headed forces during a frontal collision. So far there are no forward-facing car seats that have passed the Plus Test because of the life-threatening high neck forces. Unlike the usual approval, the Plus Test is a voluntary test and it is up to the manufacturer to Plus Test the car seats. Axkid has today several Plus Tested car seats: Axkid Minikid, Axkid Move, and Axkid Rekid.