It’s the one place that no one ever (knowingly) wants to sit. Stuck smack dab in the middle like a human sandwich where there is no such thing as personal space. Even worse if you find that dreaded middle seat has a hump like a camel….talk about uncomfortable! But, as it turns out, the middle seat is statistically the safest seat in the car!
Why is the middle seat safest?
Simply stated, the middle seat is the furthest from impact during a collision, as well as the furthest away from air bags. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that all children under the age of 13 ride in the back seat, ideally in the center. The rear center seat is also recommended as the best place for kids’ car seats. In fact, the AAP found that children in the rear center seat have a 43 percent lower risk of injury than children in the rear window seats.
But, what if I have more than one child? Who goes in the middle then? Your favorite child. No, no, no, we are only kidding.
The safest seating position for each occupant varies by a lot of factors, like age, weight, height, type of car seat, type of seat belt, etc. When you have more than one child, it is typically recommended to place the child needing the most protection in the center. How do you determine that? Reach out to a local Child Passenger Safety Technician. They will be able to work with you and help provide education and recommendations for your particular needs, taking all passengers (front and rear) into account.