The Swedish Plus
an optional test was founded in 2009 to encourage manufacturers of child car seats to develop safer seats as a result of concern that European seats were not crash tested to a sufficient standard to be sold in Sweden. The main creator of this test was Tommy Pettersson, Head of the VTI Shock Laboratory in Linköping, Sweden. By studying real accidents where children suffered severe injuries in their neck and head, new lower stress-limits in neck-forces were introduced as an important safety criterion. The Plus Test is the hardest test that exists today and the only one that guarantees that your child is not exposed to excessive forces on the neck that can threaten his life during a collision, since it has been shown that a child cannot withstand a cervical effort greater than 130 kg and in the Plus Test this force is measured establishing a maximum allowed limit of 122 kg. What many do not know is that it is an especially hard test in which many of the car seats end up completely destroyed. There are three main factors that make passing the Plus Test extremely difficult: 1. Higher speed used during the test, 56 kph compared to the 50 kph speed used by the European approvals, ECE R44 and UN-ECE R129, also known as “i-Size”. 2. Shorter (very short) braking distance, which makes the impact on the car seat much more violent since, the shorter the braking distance, the greater the deceleration and, therefore, the more intense the forces received in the impact. 3. To make the Plus Test even more difficult to pass, not only is a higher speed and shorter braking distance used, but the forces exerted on the neck of the “dummy” are also carefully measured by sensors, which means that the forward-facing car seats will not pass this test due to the forces exerted on the neck are too high.
In European homologation (EU regulation) tests the child car seats are subjected to different crash tests (in the ECE R44 front and rear impact tests are carried out, while the UN-129 or “i-Size” also requires a test of side impact for the first time) none of them takes into account the forces exerted on the child’s neck at the moment of impact.
Unlike the European homologation tests, the Plus Test it is not a compulsory test, so it is up to the manufacturer to decide whether it wants to present a chair to be tested in the Plus Test or not.
It is imperative that you buy an EU approved car seat for your child, but to guarantee maximum safety and protection for your child, it is vitally important that you make sure that your car seat has also passed the Plus Test.