Children's Car Seat Safety: Ranking Vehicles With Easiest and Hardest Systems for InstallationAuthor: Portner & Shure
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently conducted a study to determine which vehicles had the easiest and the hardest car seat anchor systems to use. The safer method of using the anchor bars inside vehicle seats is much more preferred than the traditional method of using a seatbelt to install a car seat. The “newer” method is called the “LATCH” system, which every car since 2002 has been required to have. These rankings are being released with hopes of pressuring car manufacturers for vehicles with poor rankings to improve their seat designs to make car seat installation easier.
Surprisingly, many “family-friendly” vehicles like minivans and crossover vehicles were not at the top of the list. Instead, the BMW 5 series, the Mercedes-Benz GL class, and the Volkswagen Passat took the top spots. Vehicles with “acceptable” and “marginal” ratings included the Honda Pilot, the Toyota Camry, the Honda Accord, the Honda CR-V, the Subaru Outback, and the Ford Escape. The cars with the toughest to use car seat installation systems include the Volkswagen Jetta, the Hyundai Accent, the Ford Fiesta, and the Nissan Altima.
These rankings are not based on safety or crash tests, but just on easiness or difficulty of installing car seats using the “LATCH” anchors. Car seats are more likely to be installed correctly when using the “LATCH” anchors than when they are installed using a seat belt.
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