Top Ranked Models for LATCH Safety Restraint Systems
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently released new rankings regarding the ease-of-use for child safety seats after evaluating 170 current model vehicles. Three models earned the top rating of “Good+”—Audi Q7, Lexus RX and Toyota Prius. No vehicle obtained this top distinction last year.
Since 2002, the U.S. has required LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) systems in the rear seats of vehicles because research has shown that child restraints installed with LATCH are more likely to be installed correctly than child restraints simply utilizing the vehicle safety belt. However, according to the Insurance Institute, these LATCH systems are often buried in the seat, making them difficult to use and maneuver and hard to engage, thus, making it more likely that child safety seats will be installed incorrectly.
The top performers had anchors that were easy to maneuver, had more than the required minimum amount of anchors, and did not require significant force to snap into the car sear. Overall, only twelve models received a Good or Good+ rating, while the remaining eight-one vehicles were rated as marginal or poor. The Ford Fiesta, Chevrolet Silverado and Infiniti Q70 were rated among the worst performers.
As a reminder, Florida law requires children age 5 and under to be secured by properly using a crash-tested, federally approved child restraint device. Parents should make sure their car seat is the right fit for their child and vehicle, and make sure that such car seat is installed and used correctly each and every time. Parents may also visit a local FHP station to ask a car-sear certified trooper for help with the safe installation of a car seat. Appointments can be made for car seat installations and safety checks from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on the first Friday of each month.