Good Fit Booster: The lap belt should fit flat across a child's upper thighs, not the soft abdomen. Good boosters have belt-routing features that hold lap belts down and forward. The shoulder belt should cross snugly over the middle of the shoulder. Then it's in position to provide effective protection in a crash, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Poor Fit Booster: Not all boosters provide good belt fit. Here the lap belt is too high on the abdomen, and the shoulder belt is too close to the neck, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Photo Credits: Courtesy of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has issued a press release on its 2010 Child Booster Seat Ratings.
According to the release, issued Sept. 8: Boosters are better than they used to be at fitting lap and shoulder belts on 4 to 8-year-old kids to restrain them in a crash.
Researchers assessed the safety belt fit of 72 boosters, assigning the best ones the top ratings of BEST BET or GOOD BET because they correctly position belts on average booster-age kids in most vehicles. The worst performers are ones the Institute doesn't recommend because they do a poor job of fitting belts. A good booster routes the lap belt across a child's upper thighs and positions the shoulder belt at midshoulder.
The Institute doesn't conduct vehicle crash tests to evaluate boosters because boosters don't do the restraining in a crash. It's the fit of the belt that's important.
"For the first time top-rated boosters outnumber ones the Institute doesn't recommend," says Anne McCartt, Institute senior vice president for research. "Now more than ever manufacturers are paying attention to belt fit, and it's showing up in our ratings."
2010 IIHS BOOSTER EVALUATION RESULTS:
Britax Frontier 85 (combination highback)
Chicco Keyfit Strada (dual highback)
Clek Oobr (dual highback)
Cosco Juvenile Pronto (dual highback)
Cybex Solution X-Fix (highback)
Eddie Bauer Auto Booster (dual highback)
Evenflo Big Kid Amp (backless)
Evenflo Maestro (combination highback)
Graco TurboBooster Crawford (dual highback)
Harmony Baby Armor (dual highback)
Harmony Dreamtime (dual backless)
Harmony Dreamtime (dual highback)
Harmony Secure Comfort Deluxe (backless)
Harmony Youth Booster Seat (backless)
Maxi-Cosi Rodi XR (dual highback)
Recaro ProBOOSTER (highback)
Recaro ProSPORT (combination highback)
Recaro Vivo (highback)
Recaro Young Sport (combination highback)
Safety 1st Boost Air Protect (dual highback)
The First Years Pathway B570 (highback)
Britax Parkway SG (dual highback)
Combi Kobuk Air Thru (dual backless)
Combi Kobuk Air Thru (dual highback)
Evenflo Symphony 65 (3-in-1 highback)
Graco TurboBooster Sachi (dual highback)
Graco TurboBooster Wander (dual highback)
Maxi-Cosi Rodi (dual highback)
Eddie Bauer Deluxe (combination highback)
Eddie Bauer Deluxe 3-in-1 (highback)
Evenflo Express (combination highback)
Evenflo Generations 65 (combination highback)
Evenflo Sightseer (highback)
Harmony Baby Armor (dual backless)
Safety 1st All-in-One (3-in-1 highback)
Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite (3-in-1 highback)
For detailed information, visit:
To see a video on safety and booster seats, visit:
About the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers. For decades the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has been a leader in finding out what works and doesn't work to prevent motor vehicle crashes in the first place and reduce injuries in the crashes that still occur.
The Institute's research focuses on countermeasures aimed at all three factors in motor vehicle crashes (human, vehicular, and environmental) and on interventions that can occur before, during, and after crashes to reduce losses.
In 1992 the Vehicle Research Center (VRC) was opened. This center, which includes a state-of-the-art crash test facility, is the focus of most of the Institute's vehicle-related research. The Institute's affiliate organization, the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), gathers, processes, and publishes data on the ways in which insurance losses vary among different kinds of vehicles.
About the Highway Loss Data Institute
The Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), an affiliate of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), is a nonprofit research organization that publishes insurance loss statistics on most car, SUV, pickup truck, and motorcycle models on US roads.
Sponsored by the automobile insurance industry, HLDI regularly publishes detailed analyses of losses under six insurance coverages — collision, property damage liability, personal injury protection, medical payment, bodily injury liability, and comprehensive (including theft). The database covers more than 150 million individual passenger vehicles, amounting to about 80 percent of all privately insured vehicles on the road. As a result, this is the largest repository of such information in the world.
Organized in 1972 to provide consumers with comparative loss information among vehicles, HLDI helps car buyers make informed choices. Insurance losses vary widely among vehicles under all six coverages — even among vehicles that are similar in size and type. Some competing models may have much lower occupant injury experience than others and may be less expensive to insure.
Under a 1993 federal mandate, vehicle dealers are required, upon request, to provide consumers with HLDI information on the differences in collision losses among makes and models of vehicles. Being able to analyze and make such information useful, HLDI has, in fact, become the nation's principal source of public information about insurance losses for automobiles and other passenger vehicles.