IIHS Study Ranks Booster Seats

Posted: September 9, 2010

If you think that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) only conducts tests on passenger vehicles, think again. In a recent study of 72 booster seats, the IIHS names 21 Best Bets.

The study’s findings mark a significant change from last year’s results -- which only named nine Best Bets. That study was based on 60 booster seats. Commenting on the latest study, IIHS’ Senior Vice President for Research Ann McCartt said that this is “the first time top-rated boosters outnumber ones the Institute doesn’t recommend.”

To be named a Best Bet, “a booster seat must properly position a three-point seat belt over a 6-year-old testing dummy,” explains KickingTires. The IIHS’ study focuses on the fit of the seat belt; there is no crash testing involved.

Autoblog reports that the proper fit for a child booster seat “should put the lower portion of the seat belt across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt at mid-shoulder.”

Booster seats are a crucial protector for children involved in an auto accident. Fox News reports, “A 2009 study by the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia found that children ages 4 to 8 who ride in booster seats in the back seat are 45 percent less likely to sustain injuries in crashes than children wearing only seat belts.”

For a full list of the IIHS’ Best Bets, Good Bets and those booster seats not recommended at all, check out the IIHS’ news release.

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