Little by little we return to this space to be able to clarify some things that were pending. Many of you have written to me asking about him Rivemove car seat adapter from Rivekids (Sorry for the delay in the replies by mail, I'm coming back little by little)
For those who do not know what it is, I am going to make a brief summary with one of their videos:
It seems like a good idea, right? To be able to put three chairs in a car in which, with their normal space, they would not enter you. Being able to travel between two chairs in a broader way, etc ... Well, everything that glitters is not gold and in this post is what we want to explain.
We have been seeing this adapter for some time and commenting with professionals about its suitability since it generated many doubts. After hearing the opinion of several specialists we wanted to convey some questions we asked Cristina Barroso, specialist in countermarking and security retention systems. In this interview you will see, in a clear and simple way, all the information on why we believe that this system It is NOT the most appropriate and has several legal gaps that make it dangerous.
1.- What is the Rivemove?
It is a system that uses the ISOFIX anchors of the vehicle to literally leave the chairs glued to the doors, expanding the space of the central square so that it can be occupied by a passenger or another retention system.
2.- Do you think it is useful or necessary?
I think that in the eyes of the consumer it may seem an attractive solution that supposedly solves a space problem without changing cars. Nobody seems to worry, however, the very serious risk involved in eliminating the safety distance studied and stipulated by the car manufacturers to keep the occupants away from the doors in case of lateral collision.
3.- About bringing children closer to the side doors, is it safe? It is advisable?
Flatly no. It is a recklessness. It's like overtaking the passengers in the front seats to the dashboard and to the front moon with the pretext of putting a third row of seats in a forced, risky and dangerous way so as not to have to change cars. It is a complete nonsense in which all passengers lose, because as there really is an accident, there is no safety distance between them, or between the rigid elements of the car, with an increase in uncertain potential damage.
In the case of lateral collisions, the issue is even more serious because the safety distance is already limited in itself, because the lateral body of the cars has hardly any deformation zones (such as the nose or trunk), so passengers receive a much higher energy discharge. The body is not designed to receive a lateral impact, so injuries, even in low-speed collisions, would be very serious.
4- What happens with your approval?
That is nonexistent. That is the tremendous problem and it is the legal crack through which this type of products slips.Being a car accessory there is no authority to refer to, because for car accessories there is no homologation (mirrors, parasols, floor mats, cover covers ... etc.). If it is not a car or a car seat there is no written regulation about it, so they are there precisely: in a regulatory vacuum in which no government entity supervises or endorses the manufacturing procedure, quality standards and even less, the potential risks in the event of an accident as there is no standardized crash test for this type of items. How is an iron bar different from the displaced anchors of a chain to whose links two isofix connectors have been welded? and who says chain, says steel cable or a wooden board with carabiners. How is a non-approved or supervised solution proposed by a company different from any other "partnership" made by a parent in his home garage? In marketing maybe?
When consumers purchase products that affect safety without being approved, they are blind, putting their children's lives in the hands of what the manufacturer of the manufacturing company says, who in the absence of any supervision, are free to affirm and say whatever they want. Whether it is true or not. That is the reality of being in a situation of regulatory vacuum.
5.- Much has been speculated since in May Klippan issued a statement advising against the use of this accessory with its chairs. Have you reconsidered your position in this regard?
Absolutely. On the contrary. In September we will go to Consumption, since from a technical, strict point of view and with the instruction manual in hand, any Klippan chair that is not directly anchored to the seat of a vehicle, cannot be considered “installed”, so that this could imply for purposes, not only of security, but of guarantees. We want to consult to what extent the interference of a system not approved or supervised by any authority could affect not only our responsibility as manufacturers, but also that of users with regard to insurers, for example. Everything we find out in that regard will be brought to the attention of our consumers.
6.- Why don't you recommend the Rivemove system of Rivekids?
Because this system interferes (and modifies) four different approval regulations. Two of them affect Child Retention Systems. The other two to the vehicle's isofix anchors and seat belts, and this obviously has safety implications.
Everything that is subject to regulations is perfectly measured and heavy within that environment. When we add weights (1.4 kg) or shorten safety distances (7 cm on the side and 5 cm on the front) what we do is modify the interaction of the chairs with the rest of the car's rigid elements (seats, airbags, windows, belts , etc.) and with the occupants themselves traveling to our side.
However small it may seem, any unsupervised modification greatly affects a moving vehicle; without going further 1.5 kg of stationary weight, they are converted to 36 km / h in 15 kg. At 70 km / h in 60 kg and 90 km / g in 135 kg. The overexertion to which the car's isofix anchors are being subjected is actually enormous. The same goes for distances. Car manufacturers have been gaining millimeters of lateral safety for the occupants for decades, moving them away from doors and rigid elements (pillars, windows and backrests). When survival depends on distances measured in millimeters, 7 cm is a real barbarity.
I am a consultant in child restraint systems and I am specialized in the Swedish road safety model, which is based exclusively on biomechanics, so I am used to seeking a biomechanical endorsement of the different safety recommendations and solutions. As far as this device is concerned, I can only say that, from a strictly biomechanical point of view, its supposed benefits are not sustained.
7.- However, the brand ensures that the biomechanical values of the head experience a 20% reduction in brain damage with the use of rivemove. How is it possible?
It is easy to understand when you know the test procedures. The rivemove is the direct consequence of an absurd lateral trial. So absurd that the test that supposedly justifies the need to add side pieces to the "i-size" chairs, like plastic antennas, rubber blocks or retractable parts to separate the chair from the point of impact (supposedly increasing its safety) , is the same on which this company has been based to, supposedly, demonstrate that, the closer the chair is to the point of impact, the safer it is. How is it possible that the crash test itself serves to prove one thing and its opposite? It is clear that something is wrong, and in this case, two things fail. The first affects the procedure and the second affects the concept.
The laboratories, in a clear act of simplification necessary for their own limitations, assume that the only cause of injury in lateral collision occurs as a result of acceleration of the head and, based on this, they throw the chair in a deceleration train until it hits it laterally against a rigid panel.
The force of the impact depends on three variables: the speed, the distance traveled by the object and the detention time. The higher the speed and distances traveled and the shorter the detention time, the stronger the blow. But what happens if, at a constant speed and detention time, we reduce the distance traveled between the launch point and the end point? What happens is that the blow is looser.
This is best understood when we invert the plane and instead of throwing an object from one end to the other, we drop it from top to bottom. At the same speed, an object that falls from 7 cm higher will hit harder against the ground than if it falls from 7 cm below. It is not the speed or the stop time, but it is the distance between the launch point and the point of impact, which affects the force of the blow. The closer you are to the ground, the weaker it will be.
The rivemove accessory moves the chair laterally 7 cm closer to the point of impact, resulting in a looser test than in regulations and therefore, although the values that the dummy throws are lower, these are not comparable to those of the test without accessory and much less can you draw the conclusions they have drawn:
Its iron bar «absorbs» up to 20% of the impact energy.That is not possible, among other things, because it is a very hard material, so it only absorbs when the energy discharge is very high. in an impact of this kind, nor is it unchanged.
On the other hand, the reality of a lateral accident is that the head injuries are not due to the acceleration they simulate in the laboratory but, in a very high percentage of cases, are the result of the intrusion of a second moving vehicle in the cabin where the occupants are. It is the deformation of the body that causes the damage and therefore, maintaining the safety distance between passengers and doors is of vital importance. That is the reason why car manufacturers have been struggling to gain millimeters on the sides of the car for years by reducing the central square.
Expected lesions in conventional passengers range from something as "mild" as the encrustation of crystals in the face and eyes, to something as serious as severe craniocerebral trauma or even tearing of the aorta (mortal) artery. These last two injuries are a consequence of the low capacity of our body to receive lateral blows. Given their fragility and immaturity of the internal organs, in the case of children, the risks increase exponentially. If we hit them on the doors, the consequences could be catastrophic.
8.- All that counts is quite surprising considering that this system has obtained different awards and recognitions from even the DGT itself ...
True. It would be necessary to see under what conditions these awards have been granted and what knowledge did the bodies responsible for that device have no qualification for. There are innumerable awards for the innovation of products that never see the light or that do so in a completely different way from the initial proposal, because the regulations themselves condition their design and functionality.
As for the DGT, it should be remembered that it has taken almost 15 years to reconsider the rear-facing chairs as a safer option than the chairs in favor of marching, but during all that time their recommendations have been for children to travel in front of from 9 kg weight. So, regretting it a lot and as far as I am concerned, your endorsement is not a guarantee right now.
In my opinion, what these awards show is that those who have granted them do not have sufficient knowledge in biomechanics or regulations. In our recent history there is a case of a deceased child as a result of injuries caused while traveling in an AFM chair also very awarded (post explanation here). Injuries that would have never occurred if you had traveled in a chair in the rear.
Once again we fall into the error of thinking that security is measured in the awards granted by third parties under their own subjective criteria, when in reality it is a mere matter of physics and medicine.
9.- Is there a case in which (by extreme) you would recommend it? (In the case of a family with group 2/3 chairs for example)
I think that with everything I just explained, the answer to this question is obvious. Under no circumstances and under any circumstances can I recommend the use of a system like this and I strongly urge, not only on behalf of the brand that I represent in Spain, but on my own, to all the users of the Klippan chairs that are using it, to stop doing so as soon as possible.
10.- What alternative solutions, to Rivemove, do families have? (If there is, of course)
When a third member is incorporated into the family, the entire family system changes. You need one more plate on the table, one more bed, one place in the nursery and in the school more, one more car seat and of course, a full seat inside the car more.
A complete seat is understood as the one in which a third passenger fits comfortably, because the interior of the passenger compartment has been designed so that the rear bench seat is occupied by three passengers most of the time. The car will be wider, but all seats will each have their corresponding safety distance, not only with each other, but with respect to the doors in the case of side seats.
Everything that is configured inside a vehicle has a reason. The distance of the isofix anchors is not random but is perfectly measured. The distance between the passengers too. That is why cars with narrower central rear seats, although in the brochure they indicate otherwise (5 seats), are actually designed to take 2 occupants back and a third one very eventually. This being so, they play with the central space (shortening it) to keep occupants traveling in the side seats of the doors away and increase their safety.