Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children younger than 13.
November 10, 2015
New BEST BETs make booster shopping easy
When IIHS began its booster seat ratings in 2008, most models failed to consistently provide good belt fit. This year, all new models evaluated provide good or acceptable fit.
October 15, 2015
Correction to 2014 booster ratings
IIHS mistakenly named two boosters, the Eddie Bauer Deluxe Highback 65 and Safety 1st Summit 65, BEST BETs. These seats should have been designated as Not Recommended.
June 18, 2015
IIHS launches ratings of vehicle LATCH hardware
Only 3 vehicles of more than 100 evaluated have child restraint installation hardware that earns a good rating for ease of use.
Answers to common LATCH questions
These explanations about LATCH weight limits, center seating positions and other issues can help clear up confusion.
December 23, 2014
Study looks at boosting rear-seat safety
Restraint system changes might make sitting in back even safer, especially for adults.
November 6, 2014
25 new boosters earn highest rating
IIHS evaluated 41 new booster models for 2014, and 25 earn the highest rating of BEST BET.
Many kids move on from boosters too soon
Nine of 10 parents move their children out of a booster seat before they're big enough for safety belts, a Safe Kids survey shows.
May 29, 2014
NHTSA issues rearview camera rule
Nearly all new passenger vehicles are expected to have rearview cameras by May 2018 under a new regulation designed to reduce backover crashes.
April 8, 2014
Real-world study confirms LATCH findings
A new IIHS study confirms that better designs for LATCH anchor setups in vehicles could make parents more likely to use LATCH and use it correctly.
March 13, 2014
Research shows benefit of rear cameras
Rear cameras show promise in preventing backover crashes and are more effective than parking sensors in helping drivers avoid objects behind them, new IIHS research demonstrates.
February 20, 2014
Child restraint tether use
Parents are more likely to use the top tether when installing a child restraint if the attachment anchor in the vehicle is easy to find, new research from IIHS and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute indicates.
November 7, 2013
More booster seats grab top ratings
Of the 31 new booster seats evaluated this year, 19 earn the top rating of BEST BET. Counting carry-over models, there are 58 BEST BET boosters for 2013, more than any prior year.
April 25, 2013
Top tethers often overlooked by parents
A strap meant to prevent a child restraint from tipping forward in a crash is ignored by lots of parents. A new IIHS study finds top tethers are used just over half of the time.
October 25, 2012
Most new booster seats provide good belt fit
Fifteen of 17 booster seats introduced in 2012 earn the top rating of BEST BET from IIHS. BEST BET boosters now outnumber seats in any of the three other categories for the first time since the Institute released its inaugural booster ratings in 2008. In all, there are 47 BEST BET boosters for 2012. Two boosters are not recommended because they don’t provide proper belt fit.
September 20, 2012
LATCH, belt reminders on tap for rulemakings
The recently passed transportation funding law known as MAP-21 includes a number of important safety-related provisions.
April 12, 2012
Vehicle seat designs hinder child restraint installation
Many automakers aren’t paying attention to the key factors that make it easier to install child restraints using LATCH, new research shows. Only 21 of the 98 top-selling 2010-11 model passenger vehicles evaluated have easy-to-use LATCH designs. This is the main finding of a joint study by the Institute and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.
Parents struggle with some LATCH designs
When a group of parents attempted to install child seats in a demonstration, they confronted some of the same problems researchers identified.
October 13, 2011
More booster seats get top marks
A good fit is easier than ever to find when shopping for a booster seat. A record 31 seats have earned the Institute’s Best Bet rating because they correctly position a safety belt on a typical 4 to 8 year-old in almost any vehicle.
Inflatable booster is BEST BET
The BubbleBum, the first inflatable seat tested by the Institute and a BEST BET, provides a solution for traveling and car pools.
Strong child restraint laws cut injuries
Expanding child restraint laws to cover children through ages 7 or 8 reduces crash injuries among booster-age kids, a new IIHS study finds.
August 18, 2011
Kids should ride rear-facing longer
The American Academy of Pediatrics now says children should ride rear-facing until age 2 or until they reach the height or weight limits of their restraints.
September 8, 2010
Boosters improve with 21 BEST BETs in latest ratings
Boosters are better than they used to be at fitting lap and shoulder belts on 4- to 8-year-old kids to restrain them in a crash. So parents don't have to search as hard for a good fit for their child and vehicle. Most belt-positioning boosters, though, don't offer consistently good fit in all vehicles. That's the bottom line in the third round of booster evaluations by IIHS.
Parents uncertain about need for booster
Confusion persists among parents about the need for boosters and when children can leave them behind.
Top tethers often go unused
All front-facing child restraints have top tethers to keep them from tipping too far forward in crashes, but they are used only 43 percent of the time, an IIHS survey shows.
December 22, 2009
9 BEST BETS AND 6 GOOD BETS in new booster ratings
New ratings from IIHS take the guesswork out of selecting boosters most likely to provide good lap and shoulder belt fit in a range of vehicles. The Institute rates nine belt-positioning boosters BEST BETS and six GOOD BETS out of 60 models examined in a new round of evaluations. Eleven boosters aren't recommended at all because they do such a poor job of fitting the belt.
June 11, 2009
Automakers may recommend child seats
NHTSA is asking automakers to voluntarily recommend child seats that fit well with their vehicles.
November 25, 2008
School buses are the focus of new rule
A new federal rule will require higher seat backs in all new school buses and lap/shoulder belts in all new small school buses.
October 22, 2008
Child seat use goes up
Use of child safety seats has surged in recent years, but there still is room for improvement, a new report says.
October 1, 2008
First IIHS booster ratings: 13 seats are not recommended
Booster seats are meant to do one thing — elevate children so that safety belts designed for adults are in the right position to restrain kids during a crash. Thirteen of the 41 belt-positioning booster seats IIHS evaluated with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute did such a poor job that they are not recommended at all. Ten models are best bets and 5 are good bets.
Children move to adult belts too soon
A government survey finds a third of 4-7 year-olds are riding in adult belts without boosters even though they are most likely too small to do so safely.
September 28, 2005
NHTSA declines to sled-test child seats
The agency will continue rating child restraints for ease of use but found there would be little benefit from testing them for crash performance.
September 25, 2003
Highway safety legislation in the states
Two states get stronger belt laws, but Pennsylvania lawmakers weaken their state's motorcycle helmet use law.
June 11, 2003
Despite LATCH, not every child seat fits in every vehicle
A federal rule requiring special attachments to anchor infant and child restraints in vehicles is making installation easier, but not all child restraints fit easily in all vehicles. This is the main finding of the Institute's first review of the federal requirements.
Can child restraints be improved?
A study of crashes in which restrained children died shows that current child seats work well. Most such crashes are so severe that there is no potential for survival.
February 8, 2003
NHTSA to develop booster seat standards
A bill recently signed into law by President Bush directs NHTSA to develop performance requirements for child restraints and boosters for children over 50 pounds.
September 14, 2002
School buses are safest transportation
Death rates measured per mile and per trip during school hours are lowest on school buses. The death rate per trip is highest in passenger vehicles driven by teenagers.
March 16, 2002
Few states improve highway safety laws
Little progress was made in the states in 2001 when it comes to passing new highway safety laws and strengthening the ones on the books.
February 17, 2001
New child seat attachments need work
Child seats are now coming with connectors that attach directly to anchors in cars. This makes installation simpler, but Institute evaluations show the designs need work.
December 20, 2000
Best and worst state traffic safety laws
For the first time, IIHS has conducted a comprehensive assessment of key traffic safety laws in every state and the District of Columbia. Researchers rated laws on alcohol-impaired driving, young driver licensing, safety belts, child restraints, motorcycle helmets and laws allowing red light cameras.
March 30, 1999
Many children still ride unrestrained or in front seat
Parents and other drivers on U.S. roads still have a long way to go when it comes to protecting children in motor vehicles. Despite extensive publicity aimed at getting children restrained and riding in the rear seats of vehicles, observational surveys in three states show many children still riding unrestrained.
January 16, 1999
Child safety seats will be easier to install under NHTSA's new regulation calling for uniform attachments
New attachments for child seats
December 14, 1998
Black and Hispanic children at high risk of crash death
Per mile traveled, black and Hispanic male teenagers are nearly twice as likely to die in a motor vehicle crash as male teens who are white. The risk of black children ages 5 to 12 dying in a crash per mile of travel is almost three times as great as that of white children.
April 4, 1998
Airbag switches sought by people who transport kids in front
November 29, 1997
Child seats soon may be simpler to place in the back due to fixed attachment points
With on/off switches, some belts may have to be replaced
June 27, 1997
Children are always safer riding restrained in the back
A new Institute study shows children are nearly always safer when they ride in the back seat — even if a vehicle doesn't have a passenger airbag.
©1996-2016, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute | www.iihs.org
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