Abels & Annes

The IIHS Releases its New Ratings for Booster Seats and their Protection during Car Accidents in Chicago and Elsewhere

Shopping for the right booster seat is much easier now with the rating system that the Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) just released.

More than 30 seats have made it on the “Best Bets” list. Seats on this list mean that they fit most children aged 4- to 8-years old and help to ensure that a seat belt fits correctly and comfortably on your child. Properly used booster seats can help to prevent the injury or death of your child during a car accident in Chicago. The seats are affordable for all parents as they range anywhere from $15 to a couple hundred bucks.
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Our Chicago child injury attorneys understand how important it is to choose a car seat that fits your child correctly. About 70 percent of car seats used in the U.S. are used incorrectly. We ask that you take a moment and review the seats on the new “Best Bets” list to ensure that you’re getting the best car seat for your child.

In addition to the “Best Bets” list, there are now 5 new seats on the “Good Bets” list. Child car seats on this list prove to provide acceptable seat belt fittings in most vehicles. Nearly 10 seats have been deemed as unusable because they don’t properly fit into most vehicles.

Booster seats should be used by children who exceed the weight and height limits for front-facing child seats. In a booster seat, a child should be elevated so that the adult’s seat belt will fit properly across their body. Some seats are able to seat your child more safely than others. One of the most common mistakes made by consumers is that they correlate price with quality, which isn’t always the case. The booster seat rating system was started back in 2008 to help parents to equip their vehicle with the devices that will best protect their child in the event of an accident.

“A Best Bet means any of these top-rated boosters should work well in the family SUV or the babysitter’s sedan,” says Anne McCartt, the Institute’s senior vice president for research.

In the last wave of ratings, the IIHS rated more than 60 different booster seats. More than 20 of them appeared twice in the lists. These kinds of seats are ones that can be used as backless of highback booster seats. There were 11 more seats evaluated this year than last year.

These lists are not created from crash test results. They’re based on how well they’d fit a young child. The test is conducted by placing an average-sized child dummy in the seat and then examining the fit of the belt. There were 10 seats on the Best Bets list in 2008, only 9 in 2009 and more than 20 in 2010.

According to McCartt, there are more seats that fail to properly secure your child into a vehicle’s seat than those that can. In a booster seat, a seat belt should fit across a child’s upper thigh and across the middle of your child’s shoulder.

Car seats have been proven time and time again to be effective in saving a child’s life in the event of an accident. The determining factor in these events is the parents and their decision to choose the proper seat and to buckle them up in it every time.

For a complete list of which seats made the cut, visit the IIHS’ Booster Seat Evaluation page.

If you or your child has been injured in car accident, the personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

More Blog Entries:

Child Passenger Safety Week Kicks Off to Help Save Children in Illinois Car Accidents
September 24, 2011
Two Children Injured in a Three-Car Accident in Illinois
August 16, 2011