Consumer Watch: Car seat safety

Print
Email
|

by Andy Treinen

WHAS11.com

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 4:56 PM

(WHAS11) -- Most parents would never leave home without their infant or child safely buckled into a car seat, but installing those seats is not always easy. A new study finds that some parents may have more struggles than others.

Interesting results in a recent study indicates that parents, the people with the most to lose, are the ones most likely to struggle with the hardware that's designed to secure child safety seats inside a car.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, evaluated the anchors and tethers used to attach safety seats in nearly a hundred vehicle models. They also observed volunteers trying to install them. Only 21 vehicles met the study's criteria for being easy to use. Others experienced issues. 

“This lower anchor is buried in between these seat belts, so that just finding the anchor is challenging. And then being able to maneuver the hook to actually get it in there and connect it tightly, is very difficult, it requires a lot of force," said Anne McCartt from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Volunteer parents were more likely to install seats correctly, when the hardware was easier to use. But the study also found less than half of the parents used the top tether to secure forward-facing seats, with many parents not realizing it's essential.

“They think it's optional, but the top tether is an essential part of making the child restraint protect their child best," said McCartt.

That top tether can ensure that the seat stays in the proper place, minimizing how much that seat moves side to side or back and forth in the event, of an accident. 
 

Print
Email
|