Accidents are not intentional, but take place unexpectedly. A category of accidents is traffic collision. There can be fatalities, injuries and damage to properties resulting from traffic collision. Even in a country reputed to have a higher degree of safety measures and adoption of the most technologically advanced systems in vehicle and traffic management, have a 40,000 annual fatality due to accidents. Safety requirements have been steadily increasing. The accident rates too have been steadily declining. But in terms of pure numbers, the number of deaths and injured too are on the rise. Rising population, increased travel and travelers and more traffic remain the unavoidable causes.
There are two types of safety devices and systems. They are the active and passive safety devices and systems. The active safety devices and systems require the traveler to act. Fastening seat belt is one such action. The passive safety devices and systems operate on their own automatically and independent of any action of the traveler. The inflation of airbags on collision or sudden jerk is an example of this.
Children are more susceptible to accidents involving traveling in vehicles. Children are lighter and smaller than adults. They are the most vulnerable to sudden jerks and can easily be thrown off during collision impact. The safety measure such as active seat belts and airbags can be ineffective. It is recognized that children and infants need to be provided specific safety measures depending on their age, weight and height. Child seat, child safety locks, power window lockouts controlled by the driver to prevent opening of windows or doors by children inside the vehicle have become part of the mandatory safety measures in many countries.
There are specially designed seat for infants. These infant safety seats are secured to the automobile seat. When there are sudden jerks or collisions, the infant seat belt holds the child firmly. These are now a part of the safety regulations prescribed in some countries. There are different models of infant seat belts on sales in the market. Britax Frontier Seat has advanced shock-absorption and cushioning. These are also easy to set up.
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe has come out with its ‘Regulation R44-04’ as the recommended international safety standard for baby and child seats. The International Organization for Standardization has also introduced safety standards for car seats in 1990 called ISOFIX. LACTH is the United States equivalent of this standard. Baby seats that comply with ISOFIX standards are introduced in some automobiles.