Majority of Cars Fail Safety Group's Car Seat Installation Testing

car seatIf you've ever installed a car seat, you know how difficult (and sweaty) a task it is to try to install it correctly. As it turns out, that's not just your new parent nerves at work. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) recently evaluated the child restraint installation hardware on a variety of cars to see how easy they were to use. The results weren't good.

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Out of more than 100 cars evaluated, only 3 vehicles earned a "good" rating -- that's just 3 percent! More than half of the cars were rated as having "poor" or "marginal" hardware, making it harder for parents to keep their kids safe. 

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The study was based on positioning of the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children -- better known as LATCH --hardware which has been required in all cars since 2002. While installing a car seat with seat belts does keep a child safer than they would be without a car seat, using a LATCH system makes it more likely that the car seat will be installed correctly, which is why "ease of use" for the LATCH system is a high priority for the IIHS.

As for the results, the 2015 models of the BMW 5 series, Mercedes-Benz GL-Class and Volkswagen Passat were the only vehicles to earn a "good" rating.

As for the cars that fared the worst, 10 got a "poor" rating from the non-profit: the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Hyundai Accent, Nissan Altima, Toyota Tundra, Ford Fiesta, Lexus ES, Toyota Sienna, Volkswagen Jetta, GMC Sierra 1500 and Mazda 6.

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If you're in the market for a new car, you may want to see where your top picks ranked before signing on the dotted line. And if your existing vehicle didn't come out on top, don't despair. The IIHS notes that these ranking speak only to how easy a car's LATCH system is to use. It is still possible to have a safely installed car seat in one of these vehicles; it may just take a lot more work ... or some help from an expert. 

What kind of car are you driving? How hard or easy was it to install your car seat?

 

 Image via Shutterstock

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