What is the Swedish Plus Test?

Whether you are new to buying a child car seat or not, there is a lot of jargon to try to understand – please check out our car seat buying guide for more info, but here I’ll be going into more detail about the Swedish Plus Test. This test is a completely voluntary test car seat manufacturers can opt to put their car seats through and is the hardest test to pass.

The test was founded in 2009 by Tommy Pettersson, Head of the VTI Shock Laboratory in Linköping, Sweden. It was designed to encourage manufacturers to develop safer seats as they were considered not crash tested to a sufficient standard to be sold in Sweden, who have some of the safest roads in the world! The test is conducted by the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute.

It is really hard to pass this test – there are 3 key areas that make it difficult:

  • They use a higher speed during the test compared to the regulation tests to simulate more real-world crashes
  • They also use a very short braking distance (much shorter than the regulations), giving a much more violent impact, again to simulate more real-world crashes
  • They measure the forces on the neck of the dummy during the above tests – this means a forward-facing car seat will not pass the test as the forces exerted on the neck are just too high.

It has been shown that a child cannot withstand a cervical effort greater than 130kg and in the Plus Test this force is measured with a maximum allowed limit of 122 kg.

Here’s a video from our friends at Axkid showing a seat being tested and also highlighting why it’s recommended to keep your little one rear-facing as long as possible!

Whilst all car seats sold (by reputable sellers!) are safe and have passed all relevant safety tests and regulations, for extra peace of mind, you’ll know a seat that has passed the Swedish Plus Test has been through extra testing.

You can easily shop seats that have been through this test on the Uber Kids website here.

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