ADAC – Testing safety, handling and ergonomics

Every year Stiftung Warentest organises the most comprehensive car-seat test in Europe together with ADAC the ICRT which is the “International Consumer Research Organization” that also owns the Euro Ncap test. The ADAC test is published in many consumer magazines such as “Which” in England, “Råd och Rön” in Sweden and “Die Autowelt” in Germany.

 

ADAC strives to mimic reality as much as possible in their test. They use higher speeds than the R129 (i-Size) certification tests and measure both frontal and side-impact collisions in a real car-chassis instead of a test-sled. They use the newest “Q” test-dummies which collects more data than the older test-dummies.

 

The ADAC test is a composite test meaning that the test consists of more than one criteria. The 3 major test-criteria’s in the ADAC test are tested and weighted according to – Safety (50%), Operations (40%) and Ergonomics (10%).

 

For a seat to reach a good overall score it must perform well in all three parts of the test. Rear-facing seats with belt-attachment usually perform well in the crash-test part of the ADAC, but fail to reach a good overall score due to the poor review they receive in the handling part of the test.

Pros & Cons with the ADAC test

+ Europe’s most comprehensive test that measures safety, handling and ergonomics

+ Tests more car-seat models than any other test

+ Tests both frontal (64 km/h) and side (50km/h) impact with higher speed than the EU R129 (i-Size) regulation

+ Mimics a real crash well since they test in a real car with modern Q-test dummy.

 Almost all tested car seats are sold in Germany and selected by Stiftung Warentest, which means many competent car-seats sold in other countries are not tested

 The ergonomics/handling part of the test ranks belt-attached seats very low due to the risk of incorrect handling and difficult installation. Meaning forward facing seats are ranked better even though it is 5 times safer to travel rear-facing in the event of a collision. In this part of the test they also rank how bulky the seat is which is a drawback for a rear-facing seat.

The allowed limits of neck-forces in the ADAC crash test are considered very high compared to Nordic standards and the latest findings in modern research.