From which age on are children actually allowed to sit in the front seat of a car? What are the most important criteria when buying a child seat? And how often should a first aid kit be checked? A Joonko survey investigated how Germans feel about safety in (family) cars.
familienauto sicherheit
Going on vacation by car is especially popular among families. Suitcases, children and the dog all have a comfortable place and the travel plans can be completely individually adapted to the own needs. In addition, the Corona pandemic has led to a significant increase in car tourism. Air travel is only possible to a limited extent and traveling by train has become more uncomfortable due to strict regulations that the Coronavirus has led to. Especially for families with children, the car is then often the easiest, most flexible and probably the most relaxed way to go on vacation. As a result, safety in the family car is increasingly shifting towards the centre of attention.

The right child seat

What criteria do Germans use to choose the right child seat?

An important safety aspect in the family car is the child seat. Starting with the baby car seat and extending to a simple booster seat, different seat types need to be purchased over the years. But the choice here is very large and can quickly become overwhelming. We asked ourselves: On which features do parents rely on when buying a new child seat?
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Among the most important criteria used by Germans when choosing a child seat are test results and seals of approval, such as those of the ADAC or Stiftung Warentest. A third of those surveyed trust these test results and attribute a very high value to them. But the brand name and compatibility with the Isofix mounts are also important criteria for about one in five. However, the brand name plays a particularly important role for those under 30, while the older respondents tend to consider other criteria to be important. Nevertheless, Germans are very active when it comes to choosing a child seat. Relying on recommendations from their relatives and friends or using the price as a quality indicator is an option for only 10 percent of parents.
But there are also gender-specific differences in the selection of child seats. While an Isofix mount is very important and a more crucial feature for men, women tend to rely rather on the brand name and its reputation. But well-known brands have their price: While women more often decide for or against a child seat based on a brand name, men tend to be more price-sensitive. They rather focus on the best price-quality ratio when choosing a child seat.

At what age will my child be allowed to sit in the front?

In every family car this question comes up sooner or later: When will my child actually be allowed to sit in the front seat (without a booster seat)? Are there any specifications, requirements or guidelines for this? Nearly 40% of the respondents answered this question incorrectly and a quarter admitted not to know the correct answer (“I don’t know”). We can clarify: The correct criteria for whether a child is allowed to sit in the front or not are the age and height. Starting from an age of twelve years or a height of 150 cm, children may take place on the passenger seat without a booster seat. Only 32% of all respondents knew the correct minimum age and 27% were able to indicate the minimum height requirement. Altogether however, over 60% of those surveyed could name at least one of the two possible criteria correctly.
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Autocheck: first-aid kit

The first aid kit is one of the most important utensils in the car. You rarely need it, but when you need it, it is fast and reliable. Therefore it should be checked regularly for completeness and durability (expiration date). But how seriously do German drivers take the check of the small and inconspicuous first-aid kit?
A Joonko survey shows: Most Germans check their first-aid kit regularly every two years – very exemplary! Yet, a full 15% of those surveyed could not remember ever having checked their first aid kit. What is astonishing is that, in this matter, young people seem to be more reliable drivers than those with many years of experience. This is because half of those surveyed under the age of 30 stated that they had checked the first-aid kit in the year of the survey (2019) which is clearly more than among any older age group – an important sign to drivers not to become careless with the years.
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In regional terms, the most exemplary car drivers live in Saarland (61.54 %), Saxony (56.60 %) and Schleswig-Holstein (52.38 %). In these federal states, more than half of the survey participants stated that they had checked the first-aid kit “this year already” (2019). The Bavarians are more negligent in this respect – here, only about one-third checked it.
Source: Joonko survey of 1,002 car owners in Germany