Tragic accident kills parent – Rear facing child saved
A terrible accident occurred this week on a highway in a rural area outside Stockholm. The outcome was tragic but it could have been far worse. Josefin was on her way to day care early in the morning with her two children when a slow moving tractor with a large trailer crossed the road. There was no chance to stop, Josefin hit the trailer at high speed and died at the scene. She was only 27 years old.
Her husband was traveling in another car a few minutes behind and reached the scene to find the car destroyed and his wife deceased. Amazingly, the two children survived. A 5.5-year old traveling forward facing and a 2-year old traveling rear facing were pulled from the car. The older child had a severe concussion and some scrapes but will be fine. The rear facing child survived without a scratch and only got a few bruises. A very tragic accident which could have been much worse.
Frontal collisions above 70 km/h (44 mph) are normally counted as unsurvivable but we quite often see rear facing young children survive these types of accidents unharmed (Here is another example). Since we have been rear facing children in Sweden since 1965 we have learned a lot during all these years. The Swedish rear facing car seats have continued to evolve during the years but but rear facing is still as great today as in 1965.
Research is one thing, real life experience is another. Many things look great in research environment but are difficult to implement in real life. Rear facing looks great in research and the simple approach to keeping children safe in cars works great in real life. Our real life experience show it's almost impossible for a rear facing child to die or become seriously injured in a traffic accident regardless of circumstances. We therefore feel very comfortable with our strong recommendation of rear facing to at least 4 years of age.