Yes, car seat covers are completely safe, especially if they are specifically designed for the seats of your car. It is recommended by most car experts to use custom-fit seat covers instead of universal covers, to ensure proper fitting. When you fit seat covers on a newer model vehicle (from 2012+), you’re almost sure to be covering up an airbag on your seat side. And highly recommended that before any modifications or aftermarket accessories are added, make sure you check the owner’s manual so as not to risk your safety.
Without car seat covers, your seats are going to get worn out or messy easily especially if you are constantly on a road trip. But that has not in any way stopped the mixed feeling associated with whether to install them or not.
Some argue that seat covers are a colossal waste of resources and only hide the original decor of the car interior, others seem to think otherwise.
What do you think? Is it worth it or not? Let me know in the comments.
Our focus today will be on whether installing them is safe or not based on facts and findings! So keep on reading if you want your questions on whether they are safe or not answered.
Just like every invention, car seat covers can be safe or unsafe and this depends on the size, fit, type, material, installation process, weather conditions, and other factors.
Characteristics Of A Safe Car Seat Covers
A safe car seat cover possesses the following characteristics:
- Side impact protection system
- Properly fitted
- Additional features/Airbag Tested
Side impact protection system
Covers that have provision for a side impact protection system (SIPS) are considered safe. This is mostly achieved by laser cutting which is used to weaken fabric in certain areas to form a line of breakage. Or by allowing loose seams in certain areas which makes it extremely easy to burst open in the desired places in case of emergency.
A safe seat cover perfectly fits the car seat and does not leave any space in the seat. When a seat cover is an exact fit, it aligns perfectly with the seat and does not in any way interfere with installations. A loose seat cover leaves room which leads to the seat cover being worn out quickly.
Some car seat covers, especially universal seat covers, are too wide for your car seat which can cover some of the fittings in the car. This can be considered unsafe.
The safe cover is perfectly aligned with the seat and is not shifty. Loosely fitted seat covers not only make the cover easily worn out and saggy looking but also unsafe. This is because it can cover and affect the seat functions like seatbelts, airbags, etc.
In addition to being uncomfortable and always making you want to adjust your seat while driving, slippery or shifty materials can be highly unsafe. For instance, Sheepskin material can become an issue when used against non-vinyl material. This is due to natural oils/sweat released by the sheepskin for warmth which can cause the covers to be slippery especially if it is not quality or original material.
This can lead to a loss of concentration while driving in a bid to adjust the covers. Seek professional help to achieve the best fit while installing seat covers.
Additional features/Airbag Tested
Having additional features is one of the ways to identify safe car seat covers. The safest car seat covers are the ones that come without a side panel. They have elastic straps which most times do not cover the airbags.
An unsafe seat cover fails to put into consideration the opening or loose seam for the airbags which impedes or cover airbag deployment. This is highly unsafe as it can lead to serious injuries or loss of life in an event of a crash.
Characteristics Of Unsafe Seat Cover
Knowing what makes a seat cover unsafe is crucial. A car seat cover can be tagged unsafe if it is;
- Aren’t compatible with airbags
- Is oversize or loose
- Is a one-size-fits-all kind of seat covers
- Is shifty or slippery
- Covers fitting or fixtures of the car
- Damaged eg missing straps, velcros, or hooks
- Makes no provision for side airbags
Furthermore, I’ll go ahead and answer some of the frequently asked questions (FAQ) on car seat covers relating to safety.
I recommend removing the seat cover immediately if it doesn’t pass the safety checklist if not then at least a pet seat cover. Do you know seat covers can be washed in a washer? Well, hand-wash is always best though. Thank you for taking the time to go through this post. It’s all about keeping you safe while rocking your seat covers. Give me a shout in the comment while you are at it.