IIHS Releases Automobile Booster Seat Ratings

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released new ratings for booster seats, with a record 31 being labeled Best Bets for safety in almost any car or minivan. This rating indicates the seat correctly positions the vehicle's safety belt to protect a typical child between the ages of 4 and 8.

"A Best Bet means any of these top-rated boosters should work well in the family SUV or the babysitter's sedan," said IIHS senior vice president for research, Anne McCartt.

Last year 21 seats were ranked Best Bets, but only 9 were awarded the same rating in 2009. The increase in safe designs is attributed in part to the use of IIHS test protocols during design and re-design of booster seats.

In addition to the Best Bets, five seats were designated Good Bets, indicating they provide comparable safety in most vehicles. Of the seats examined, six were found not to provide a proper fit, and IIHS recommends they not be employed.

Engineers examined 62 seats in their research. Most fell into the Check Fit category, which indicate they are likely suitable for some children and vehicles, but will properly position safety belts less often.

The rationale and list of Best Bets, Good Bets, and Not Recommended can be found here.

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