Chest clips are used on child restraints to help keep harnesses secure in the event of a crash.
While they’re used internationally they don’t currently meet Australian safety standards due to concerns they may cause neck injuries in a crash.
But new research from the Transurban Road Safety Centre at Neuroscience Research Australia calls this into question, by finding no sign of serious injury related to plastic chest clips on Australian child car restraints.
The research used child-sized dummies crash tests carried out at 49 km/hr, testing the impact of both tight and loose harnesses.
Analysis of high-speed crash test footage showed the plastic clips tended to slide down the straps during the crash, meaning they are unlikely to be forcefully touching a child’s neck.
The results of this research will be submitted for consideration by the Australian Standards Committee to determine whether plastic chest clips might have a net benefit, allowing them to be supplied with Australian child car restraints.
Take a look at footage from the crash tests.