What is a roll bar and what is it for?
What is the roll bar for? Does it come with all child restraint systems? Is it effective to avoid injuries? A child restraint system (CRS) is effective due to the combination of different elements such as the backrest, the attachments and the harness. All its components and parts are designed to provide the maximum protection to children when traveling. The protection frame is a fundamental element, the main objective of which is to prevent the child from being thrown against the back of the seat when facing backwards in the event of a collision or sudden braking.
This element mainly acts in traffic accidents, preventing the car seat from moving forwards; in other words, stopping the child from being thrown against the back of the seat on which the child seat is installed. Hence they are usually found on rear-facing child seats. Generally, the support leg or top tether act when the seat first moves, preventing it from moving forward and sinking. Secondly, the roll bar prevents the seat from moving backwards.
Firstly, we should make it clear that not all roll bars are the same. Depending on the type of child restraint system, the roll bar might be at the child’s feet or at the top in the shape of a handle. Usually, the Maxi-Cosi or Group 0+ child seats, which are intended for babies and newborns, have a roll-over protection bar in the shape of a handle. It is often useful for positioning and removing the child restraint system from the vehicle. Once the chair is installed, the roll bar must be positioned properly in order to be effective. It should be positioned in such a way that it prevents the seat from hitting the backrest in the event of an accident. It should face the car roof or towards the back of the seat where the CRS is installed.
In other car seats, especially when they have an ISOFIX base and are designed for heavier and/or taller children, the roll bar protection is found at the foot of the seat, on the base itself, and is fitted to the seat back. Other child seats are designed to perform the anti-roll function themselves.
The low tether is another system aimed at preventing rotation. It is a strap from the back of the car seat which is secured to the floor of the vehicle. There are usually two low tethers. They are usually attached to the front seat guide rail. This can sometimes be combined with a roll bar as mentioned above. In general, the low tether is installed on rear-facing child seats that are fastened with a seat belt and can withstand weights of up to 18 or 25 kg.
Correct positioning of the roll bar is essential for its optimum operation. Hence the importance of following the manufacturer’s instructions in this regard.