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Tribute to Thomas Turbell

Multimac tribute to the father of child car safety

We were saddened to learn of the death of Thomas Turbell on the 19th May 2016, long-time head of VTI crash test facility at Linkoping in Sweden, and widely known as the Father of child car safety.

Turbell, started life as a researcher who realized the benefits of rear facing car seats early on but when he presented his research to the industry he was met with negativity and shaking heads. Luckily, Turbell was a leader and never shied away from something because it was different. He worked tirelessly to convince Swedish politicians and other researchers of the rear facing benefits and eventually they listened and set tougher standards. The Swedish “T-standard” was set and deemed so tough it was virtually impossible for a forward facing car seat to pass.

Thomas Turbell was a leader in the field of child car seat safety and his work has saved countless lives. Thomas Turbell was a proactive supporter of new and innovative development in the field of car seat safety and believed the standard could always be improved on. Without him the Multimac car seat would never have existed.

In the early days Multimac was tested at BSI in Britain, but despite its excellent crash test performance, and any nationalistic pride, BSI  refused to give Multimac approval because it didn’t quite ‘fit in’ with the small print of the crash test legislation [ECE44-03] written around single child seats. The Multimac car seat was different, it was innovative and superior to many single child seats, but despite the potential to save lives approval was refused.

When Thomas Turbell discovered Multimac he invited us to Sweden. He looked at the crash test figures and the unique detailed design, and expressed hope that one day the Multimac would be standard on all Swedish School buses. Thomas Turbell had a strong belief in the Multimac and even worked with us to improve the seat further.

Turbell then persuaded the European legislators to grant Multimac approval because it was safer than anything he had seen before, and once again he changed attitudes to ensure that safety and innovation prevailed over average car seats and closed minds.

Unfortunately Thomas Turbell will not get to see the Multimac fitted into school busses across Sweden (and the world) as at the age of 73 he passed away due to ill health. Thomas Turbells worked saved so many lives and his pride and passion for safety will go on to protects generations to come.

For more information about Thomas Turball and his work for child car safety please visit: http://www.carseat.se/rearfacing/rear-facing-basics/background/

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