Belt-positioning booster seats lack consistent fit: study

September 9, 2010

Although the fit of booster seats has improved for 4- to 8-year-olds, most belt-positioning boosters still do not offer a consistently good fit in all vehicles, according to a new report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

According to a press release, researchers analyzed 72 boosters and assigned the best ones top ratings for having correctly positioned belts for average booster-age kids in most vehicles. The worst performers were not recommended. A good booster routes the lap belt across a child's upper thighs and positions the shoulder belt at mid-shoulder. Additional findings show:

  • 21 boosters received "best bet" model ratings, compared with last year when nine seats out of 60 received the rating.
  • 7 boosters earned "good bet" model ratings.
  • 8 boosters were not recommended.
  • 36 boosters fell in the middle for not consistently fitting belts well on most kids in most vehicles.
Arlington, VA-based IIHS published the full report in the September issue of Status Report.