Project: Protection of Children in Cars

Reference: S080E/VF

Last update: 26/08/2003 15:41:45


The contractor will meet the following objectives:

* propose improvements to child restraint design identified by the analysis of the returned accident questionnaires distributed with new child restraints;
* propose improvements to child restraint design identified by a study of seriously injured children;
* develop a universal child restraint mounting system ISOFIX, within ISO working group; and
* develop a side impact test procedure for child restraints, within ISO working group 1.


Cars are generally designed with the adult passenger in mind. Likewise, safety features and restraint systems are also designed to provide protection for adult occupants. This project aimed to establish the common causes of injury to child occupants and establish ways in which the levels of child protection could be improved.


TRL Limited
Crowthorne House, Nine Mile Ride, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG40 3GA
+44 (0)1344 773131

Contract details

Cost to the Department: £1,132,080.00

Actual start date: 01 November 1990

Actual completion date: 01 April 2000


PR/SE/590/99. A Study of Seriously Injured Child Occupants in Cars
Author: TRL Ltd
Publication date: 01/11/1999
Source: Contact

PR/SE/090/00. The protection of children in cars. Final Report
Author: TRL Ltd
Publication date: 01/04/2000
Source: Contact

PR/SE/287/97. Interim Report
Author: TRL Ltd
Publication date: 01/11/1997
Source: Contact

Summary of results

  1. Accident Studies - These confirmed that child restraint systems are performing well, however, there were some areas in which improvement would be valuable, such as side impact protection. In addition, the effects of seating position, type and direction of impact and effects of mis-use were assessed.

    Development of ISOFix - A universal dedicated child restraint attachment system has been developed initially through a UK working group, which was in turn, fed directly into the first part of an ISO standard; subsequent parts are to follow.

    Development of Side Impact Test Procedure - A sled based side impact test procedure has been developed in which the car door inner panel intrusion and the car chassis acceleration are separately controlled. Testing has shown this to be a viable solution but further development is required before it can be considered for introduction to regulatory testing.