Rear Facing In the Front Passenger Seat

Posted by Margaret Bolt on

Here in the UK it is quite rare to see big rear facing car seats in the front passenger seat.

axkid minikid | front passenger seat | wing mirror

People worry that the front seat is not as safe as the back, but in fact using a rear facing car seat in the front seat is very safe, especially if the seat is braced against the dashboard, which is one of the strongest parts of the car. The front seat is great for little ones who cry in the back as they are usually much happier in the front where they can see mum or dad in the driver seat. The only thing that makes the front seat unsafe is the airbag, but as long as that it switched off (see picture) your little one can very safely sit next to you.

The advice given in the UK is rarely in line with what they advise and do in Sweden. In Sweden children sit in the front passenger seat with the rear facing seat in contact with the dashboard. Families with only one child put them in the front too even though the back seat is empty.

A lot of car seat manufacturers and safety advice websites in the UK say that the front seat is not as safe as the back, that children should be in the back whenever possible, and that the front seat should be a last resort, making it sound like the front seat is a compromise on safety. Research and real life experience in Sweden shows that this is nonsense. When it comes to car seats, I prefer to listen to Sweden, they have the most experience with rear facing car seats and the lowest child passenger death and injury rates in the world.

In some cars you may need to add a small mirror to the top of the wing mirror, but in this car, a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, the view of the wing mirror was very good.

Rear Facing car seat | front passenger | airbag switch

Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →