Sit tight

Researchers in Spain have developed a load limiter for child seatbelts that reduces by 50 per cent the forces felt by a child during a front impact.

Researchers in Spain have developed a load limiter for infant seatbelts that reduces by 50 per cent the forces felt by a child during a frontal impact.

David Gallegos and Paco Liesa, researchers with the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC) Applus+ Automobile Safety Chair, developed the textile load limiter, which reduces the risk of serious injury to the child, particularly in the chest area and neck.

The textile device consists of a series of folds sown into the upper part of the harness, which is the area that transmits the force of an impact to the anchoring points of the vehicle.

A key step in the design of new child retention systems was the development of a mechanism for extending the harness without increasing the risk of the child coming into contact with structural elements of the vehicle.

The system is claimed to be cheap to install, does not require additional components to be connected to the existing seat belt system and does not affect the installation of a child seat or the way in which the child must be positioned.