An alarming new study has been released that parents who frequently drive with children in car seats should take note of. The study found that several car manufacturers are failing to provide the necessary accommodations to safely strap in a car seat, which are designed to hold children in place in the event of a car accident.
According to the study, performed by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, only 21 out of 98 cars managed to comply with federal regulations called LATCH, which were enacted in 1999 to make car seats easier to install.
LATCH stands for lower anchors and tethers for children. It requires two clips at the base of the car seat and a tether at the top. They are to be easy to access and are designed to hold the car seat in place. The study, however, found that auto manufacturers are putting the latches and tethers too far in between seats, which can lead to parents putting in a car seat that isn't secured enough.
For Houston parents worried about their child's safety in a car seat, local chapters of SAFE KIDS USA provide free clinics that show parents how to properly install a safety seat.
The results of the study are startling. One would think that car manufacturers would take great pains to protect the most vulnerable passengers -- children -- in a car accident. It would be hard to fault a parent whose child is injured in an accident for blaming the car seat manufacturer, but in many cases it appears the car manufacturer should be the party held liable.
Source: Houston Chronicle, "Kids not safe in car seats?" Jim Adler, April 19, 2012