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Study Finds Many Child Safety Seats Are Too Difficult to Install

By Kelly Balamuth on May 21, 2012

A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently found that installing child safety seats in many vehicles is more difficult than it needs to be, despite recent guidelines that were intended to make installation easier.

Northern California Child Seat InjuryA uniform latching system, known as Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH), was designed to make child safety seat installation quicker and easier by creating a uniform style of hardware. This is used to install any child safety seat in the backseat of any car. Easier installation, in turn, would make it easier for parents and caregivers to use child safety seats properly and better protect children from harm if a crash occurred.

According to the IIHS study, however, only 21 of the 98 top-selling vehicles produced in the 2010 and 2011 model years have a LATCH system that is easy to use. Researchers found that in the rest of the vehicles, the depth and clearance of the system or the force required to attach the car seat properly made installation difficult. Specifically, researchers found that lower seat anchors should rise at least 3/4 inch above the seat, that no foam, padding, or other obstacles should get between the anchors and the child seat attachments, and that less than 40 pounds of force should be required to latch seats securely in place.

Child safety seats are a major factor in protecting children’s safety in a crash. If you or a child you care about has been injured in a car accident, an experienced Northern California product liability attorney at Balamuth Law can help. Call us today at (888) 254-1234 for a free and confidential telephone consultation about your car accident case.

Attorney Kelly Balamuth was profiled in the
September 2013 Issue of Plaintiff Magazine.

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