Why there’s concern about minivan safety | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey

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Minivans are getting marginal and poor ratings in crash tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The group specifically looked at rear-seat safety. None of the four minivans tested earned a good or acceptable rating. Rather than boasting top-notch second-row seat safety — especially as a family vehicle — they’re falling behind, the group said.

The Chrysler Pacifica, Kia Carnival and Toyota Sienna were rated marginal, while the Honda Odyssey was rated poor. Only the Sienna has seat belt reminders for the second-row seats.

“Back seat safety is important for all vehicles, but it’s especially vital for those, like minivans, that customers are choosing specifically to transport their families,” said IIHS president David Harkey. “It’s disappointing that automakers haven’t acted faster to apply the best available technology to the second row in this vehicle class.”

The IIHS pointed out that it’s not that the rear seats have become less safe but the front seat has become safer thanks to improved airbags and advanced seat belts — features not available in the back.

Still, the IIHS noted that the back seat is the safest place for children — who can be injured by an inflating front airbag — and the rating does not apply to children secured properly in child safety seats.

“The restraint systems in all four vehicles leave the second-row occupant vulnerable to chest injuries, either because of excessive belt forces or poor belt positioning,” said Jessica Jermakian, IIHS vice president of vehicle research. “That’s concerning because those injuries can be life-threatening.”


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