New Orleans families should be aware that not all booster seats fare equally in protecting children from personal injury. While children between the ages of four and eight are 45% less likely to be injured in a motor vehicle accident when using a booster seat – as opposed to using only a seat belt – this percentage could rise even higher if all booster seats functioned properly.
While many people may think that the primary purpose of a booster seat is to provide extra padding or protection, its main function is actually to ensure that the seat belts are properly positioned on a child. An improperly positioned seat belt may allow a child to strike the interior of a vehicle during a collision, or even cause injury itself by slicing into the child.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does not evaluate booster seat safety based on how well the booster positions seat belts, and a recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that less than half of the booster seats tested qualified as “best bets” or “good bets” to properly position seat belts on children. Moreover, of the 83 models of booster seats tested, six consistently positioned seat belts so poorly that it was recommended they never be used.
The booster seats were evaluated based on how well they positioned lap belts and shoulder harnesses on children between the ages of four to eight in a variety of different vehicles. While the evaluators found that booster seat design has improved over the three years they have been tested, nearly half of all seats still remain in the “check fit” category, meaning that parents should check the seat belt positioning when their child is using the booster seat as it does not provide proper fit for all children in all types of vehicles.
Hopefully, this study will lead to further improvement in booster seat safety and help reduce injuries to children. If your child has suffered an injury in an accident, we would be happy to help you.
Please feel free to call us at 504-581-6411 or 855-GERTLER.