With the recent launch of our new TurboBooster® with Safety Surround™ Side Impact Protection, we decided to sit down with John Bachner, our Director of Global Car Seat Research and Development, to get the scoop on what Safety Surround™ Side Impact Protection is and why it’s important when it comes to car seat safety.
Tell us a little about what Safety Surround™ Side Impact Protection is.
Safety Surround™ Side Impact Protection is a new technology that we have developed at Graco to provide enhanced performance in side impact collisions. We have utilized the new draft European side impact test protocol to develop features on our products that improve side impact protection across the size range of children that use our seats. These features are different on each car seat to provide the proper protection for that particular seat and child size, it is not “one size fits all” technology.
What are a few clear benefits of Safety Surround™ Side Impact Protection?
The most obvious benefit is the improvement in performance of a car seat during a side impact collision. This is important as almost 30% of all collisions involve a side impact. In addition to the side impact benefit, we have also worked to provide more a more comfortable fit for the child. This helps keep the child properly seated in the car seat, which is another critical element for improved safety.
Can you give us a glimpse into what it takes to develop a new technology like Safety Surround™ Side Impact Protection?
Safety Surround™ Side Impact Protection was a result of hard work in development, and testing with multiple engineers and designers collaborating to develop the proper features for each car seat and the range of children who will ride in them. The team of engineers worked on finalizing the testing set up and procedure and then completed a large amount of baseline testing to understand the crash dynamics. The engineers then created multiple concepts to improve side impact performance and tested them. From these initial concepts, the most effective solutions were identified and optimized for introduction on our Safety Surround™ Side Impact Protection products.
What do you personally like about Safety Surround™ Side Impact Protection products?
My favorite product so far is the TurboBooster® with Safety Surround™ Side Impact Protection. This product not only improves the head and body protection of the child in a collision but also provides a more comfortable seating area for the child. The team worked hard to make sure that the design did not overly restrict the child’s view while riding in the seat, this is critical to keep the child from leaning forward outside of the protective area. In addition, the seat has a great visual design for both hard goods and soft goods.
Thank you, John, for taking time to answer some questions! We are excited about the new TurboBooster® with Safety Surround™ Side Impact Protection – are you?