CYBEX Aton Q is now available in the colours of the collection 2014.
The child car seat test
Even though parents around the world are all so different, they all have one thing in common. They all share the same concern for the safety of their children. Particularly in the car, this is a topic where compromise simply is not an option.
To help parents choose the right car seat or infant carrier for their children, standards have been implemented across the world. In Europe, seat manufacturers currently have to comply with standard ECE R-44/04.
In addition to the legal requirements, infant carriers and car seats are also checked and tested by independent testing institutes such as German automobile club ADAC and Stiftung Warentest. To emerge as the winner of such a test, products must meet stringent requirements in a variety of different categories.
Example ADAC: How are infant carriers and car seats tested?
Once or twice a year, German automobile club ADAC tests the latest car seats and infant carriers from each group in specially simulated head-on and side-impact collisions. The head-on collision takes place at a speed of 64 km/h whereas the side-impact collision impacts at a speed of 50 km/h.
Depending on the weight category, dummies of varying sizes are used in various crash situations in an attempt to simulate as accurately as possible the effects of an accident on children of differing ages and weights. Besides the extensive safety tests, other criteria are factored into the test results for each car seat and infant carrier, such as handling, ergonomic design, cleaning properties, workmanship and the presence of harmful substances.
The safety tests are carried out using professional equipment that accurately simulates what happens in a collision. The car seats are also tested in everyday use with real children. The final rating is derived from the average of all test results for each category.
Why is child safety testing so important?
The test criteria of e.g. the ADAC test are far stricter than the requirements of the ECE R-44 standard and are constantly being tightened. Accordingly, the acceptable critical values and categories are under constant review. 2011, for example, saw the implementation of tests for harmful substances in car seats. Accordingly, tests of this kind make a significant contribution to enhancing the safety of car seats and infant carriers over time.
View all the benefits of the Aton Q infant carrier
Test organizations in Europe
“Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil Club”, i.e. German Automobile Club. With more than 18 million members it is the biggest automobile organisation in Europe. With a circulation of 14,000,000 copies their monthly magazine “ADAC Motorwelt” is the most read title in Europe. The “ADAC Test” is one of the most known and important tests for infant carriers and car seats in Europe and probably the one with the strictest testing criteria. The ranking follows the German school grading system, i.e. “sehr gut” (very good), “gut” (good), “befriedigend” (average), “ausreichend” (bare minimum) and “mangelhaft” (poor). Child car seats are tested in regards of safety, handling & ergonomics, cleaning & workmanship as well as harmful substances.
Germany: Stiftung Warentest
Stiftung Warentest is Germany's leading consumer testing organisation and also considered to be test leader in Europe. Founded in 1962 the Stiftung Warentest does not accept any advertising and is partly public funded to guarantee their independence.
Based on a methodology developed in Germany, the Stiftung Warentest conducts more than 200 comparative product and service testings a year, covering nearly all areas of every-day life. To date, more than 85,000 products and 1,800 services have been analysed in over 5,000 tests.
The overall results follow the German school grades, i.e. 1.0-1.5: "sehr gut" (very good), 1.6-2.5: "gut" (good), 2.6-3.5: "befriedigend" (satisfactory), 3.6-4.5: "ausreichend" (bare minimum) and 4.6-5.5: "mangelhaft" (poor). The test is conducted based on the following criteria: Safety, handling, ergonomics and harmful substances. The safety of the infant carriers and car seats is tested by the Stiftung Warentest experts while parents and experts deliver their judgement in terms of handling. When it comes to ergonomics, the main aspects taken into account are the general feeling of the child in the car seat, the legroom and the general comfort.
Germany: Autobild und Autobild.de
AutoBild is Europe's biggest car magazine. AutoBild is published in 33 countries. Since 1995 Autobild.de is the online edition of AutoBild. On a weekly basis, the magazine informs its readers about important news and trends concerning cars. Reports about test drives as well as comparisons are supposed to help the reader in the decision making process when buying a car or matching accessories like car seats. The most common car seats are tested by test families over a period of time in everyday situations and the results are published in their online publication.
The “Österreichischer Automobil-, Motorrad- und Touring Club”, i.e. Austrian Automobile, Motorbike and Touring Club, a sister organisation of the German ADAC, is with 1.84 million members (2010) the largest automobile club in Austria as well as the seventh largest in the world.
Like the ADAC, the ÖAMTC does test car seats once or twice a year in terms of safety, handling & ergonomics as well as cleaning & workmanship and additonally conducts a testing for harmful substances. The rating also followst he German school grades: "very good", "good", "satisfactory", "bare minimun" and "poor".
United Kingdom: WHICH?
With more than 50 years of history Which? is now the largest consumer testing organisation in the UK. With more than 650,000 members Which? is completely independent. Which? "Best Buy" status is awarded to the very best products and services tested by Which?. This well regarded accolade is only awarded to products or services which achieve the highest results after the rigorous comparative testing and analysis by Which?. Test winners are chosen by experts after extensive research and careful evaluation of customer feedback.
With more than 1.6 million members the Touring Club Switzerland is the leading automobile association in Switzerland. The non-profit organisation operates in the areas vehicles, tourism and consumer advice and is testing different products throughout the year – including car seats – and actively campaigns for road safety. The areas relevant for the test are safety in case of a collision, handling and ergonomics, harmful substances and cleaning as well as workmanship. The TCS announces its recommendations by awarding stars. Five stars stand for “excellent”, four for “very recommendable”, three for “recommendable” – down to just one star.