Revised assessment methods
As part of the continual improvements to assess the crash protection performance of child car seats, CREP commenced new test procedures, specifications and scoring protocols in 2021.
The latest protocols introduced elements from UNECE 129 (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Regulation 129), including the intruding door side-impact test.
Other improvements included a new test rig that is more representative of current popular vehicles and the use of the Q-series family of anthropomorphic test devices (test dummies), which offer improved biofidelity (the quality of humanlike movement) and the ability to measure biomechanical injury metrics that are relevant to child occupant safety.
The updated test protocols mean that child car seats tested and rated from 2021 cannot be compared to those rated when older assessment methods were used.
Ease of use
There are five ease-of-use measures for rearward facing, forward facing and booster seats.
Seats are ranked using their overall score in crash protection as the first criterion, followed by ease-of-use.
The more coloured stars, the better a child car seat has performed in protecting the child from injury in a crash. This refers to the following criteria:
- Retaining the dummy's head in frontal and side impacts
- Retaining the dummy's torso in frontal and side impacts
- Minimising upward and/or rotational movements during rebound stage of frontal impact
- Maintaining structural integrity in frontal and side impacts
- Distributing loads to the dummy's torso in frontal impact
- Managing impact energy to the dummy's head in frontal impact
- Managing impact energy to the dummy's head in side impacts
- Managing impact energy to the dummy's torso in frontal impact
- Minimising slip on the shoulder harness adjuster during front and side impacts
Under the 2018 scoring system, child car seats may be awarded extra points if they perform well beyond the test limits. For example, seats may be scored 20/16 in “Minimising forward head displacement” or 12/8 in “Minimising forward knee displacement”.
Ease of use ratings
The more coloured stars, the easier a child car seat is to use, meaning the car seat is more likely to be used correctly
- Securing the child in the restraint
- Securing the child car seat in the vehicle.