Thursday, November 24, 2011

Bald Spot Sports brings IndyCar technology coming to child safety seats

Updated: Nov 24, 2011 8:37 AM EST


The safety of an IndyCar could be coming to passenger vehicles.

Eyewitness News was recently granted exclusive access to high speed crash tests. Those tests are leading to some incredible innovations that will keep your children safer.

Tests involving child car seats show what can happen in a crash. The Dorel Juvenile Group, the largest manufacturer of child safety seats in United States, is in Columbus, and they're interested in making sure their youngest customers have the greatest chance of survival in the event of a wreck.

IndyCar fans have no doubt seen crashes where the driver smashes into a wall but gets out virtually unharmed. Dorel is working to bring the safety features that protect the driver to their child car seats.

Dorel found a partner in Bald Spot Sports, the company that supplied most of the drivers' seats in last Indianapolis 500. The secret is the foam along with some proprietary designs.

'We have had race car drivers absolutely go crazy already. They know this is coming and they are saying, 'Hey, you know, I want this for my kid now. I know what it takes to protect me. Get this out for me now,'" said Barry Mahal, Dorel.

That is exactly what is happening - a car seat as safe as an IndyCar driver's seat.

"It is very evident that if we can start to design out seats around some of the most violent crashes in the world then we will have a pretty good ability to keep your child safe," Mahal said.

In a car crash, there is likely to be more than one impact. Most car seats today are tested and designed to hold your child in place for that "one impact." But in reality the car seats need to protect a child against three or four devastating impacts while keeping the spine aligned and their head protected.

"With intrusion you have objects from other vehicles or another vehicle coming in on the occupant so this is all designed to keep that incoming part of the car or automobile away from the child," Mahal explained.

The seats have not gone into production yet. Dorel is anticipating a few "race car safe" child safety seats to be available in spring of 2012. A few prototypes maybe available sooner and there are already race car drivers lining up for those.

We'll keep you posted on the progress and tell you when the new seats are available in stores.