Booster Seats Now Safer Than in 2008, Study Says

By | November 12, 2013
Good news for families: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released a study showing that booster seats have made significant progress in keeping children safe. A record number of new booster seats, 19 out of 31, received the highest possible rating. Only two models were on the "Not Recommended" list. Back in 2008, only 10 of 41 models earned top marks, and a whopping 13 were "Not Recommended." The Institute said that many booster seat makers are working with the agency to build better belt designs. The agency advises booster seat makers to build belts that lie flat across the upper thighs and fit snugly over the middle of the shoulder. According to the Institute's data, children placed in booster seats are 45 less likely to be injured in a crash than kids who wear regular seat belts.
Surprisingly, price is not a limiting factor in safety. The Institute's data showed that some of the lowest price models scored top marks. The Graco Connext, retailing for $18, was a top scorer as was the $25 Harmony Transit Deluxe and the $75 Evenflo Right Fit. These less expensive models beat out a high-end competitor, Britax, which missed the top rating for three of its designs. But booster seats are only helpful when they are used. According to a separate study funded by the GM Foundation, one in four parents drive without using car seats for their young children. Many parents also position the seat improperly so it is rendered ineffective. According to the IIHS, booster seats should be used until adult belts fit properly, which can take up to 12 years for some children. Check out the IIHS' full report for more information. Sources: IIHS, GM