Booster Seat Ratings
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released its latest ratings for best-fitting booster seats, and the results bring good news to parents shopping for these critical safety devices.
15 of the 17 new child booster models introduced for 2012 have earned the top rating of “Best Bet” from the institute, and only two: The Safety First All-In-One and Safety First Alpha Omega Elite, were NOT recommended because of improper seatbelt fit.
In all, 47 boosters-including new models and older designs- made the Best Bet list, 5 seats were rated as a “Good Bet” and 37 others fell into the category of “Check Fit”-- which may provide a good fit for some children depending on the vehicle.
Belt-positioning booster seats bridge the gap for kids 4 to 8 years old who have outgrown harness-restraint child seats, but are not big enough to properly use adult lap and shoulder belts.
Like the name implies, boosters raise the child up and help to position a vehicle’s seatbelts on the child to provide the best protection in a crash. Lap belts should lie flat across a child’s upper thighs, not on their stomach, while shoulder belts should fit snugly across the center of the shoulder, not sliding off or riding up on the neck.
YOLANDA VAZQUEZ: Now, keep in mind, these ratings did not measure the crashworthiness of the seats--just how well and consistently they position the seatbelts. A complete list of booster seat rankings can be found on the IIHS website.