The National Highway and Transportation Safety Association does not provide
child car seat safety ratings. Proper installation and ease of use may
contribute to child car seat safety ratings but currently there is no source
that actually provides child car seat safety ratings.
Car seat ratings program educates parents and caregivers about child safety car
seat features and to assist them in finding the appropriate child safety car
seat for their needs.
Now entering its fifth year, NHTSA's Ease of Use Ratings program strives to
prompt child restraint system (CRS) manufacturers to improve their products and
make them easier for consumers to use. Fight back today! Contact Monheit Law for
a free legal consultation about your car seat lawsuit.
The Ease of Use rating does not compare the performance of different child
restraints in the event of a crash. A child restraint is most effective if
correctly installed in a vehicle and if the child is correctly secured in the
restraint. A child restraint that is easier to use should have a lower misuse
rate which may be indirectly related to safety.
Under the new rating system, child restraints are given an overall ease-of-use
rating at the A, B, or C levels. The overall rating is determined from the
letter grades the child restraint receives in each of five categories:
- Is the car seat pre-assembled or does it require assembly after purchase?
- What is the clarity of the labeling attached to the restraint?
- What is the clarity of the written instructions on the restraint’s proper use?
- Is it easy to secure a child correctly in the restraint?
- Does the seat have features that make it easier to install in a vehicle?
2006 car seat findings:
- There were 99 different child restraint systems selected from 14 different
manufacturers. Including the multiple modes from convertible and combination
seats, there were 160 total ratings. This is a slight increase from 2005, where
92 child restraint systems were selected with a total of 144 ratings.
- In order for a car seat to qualify as an overall A, it must receive an
A-rating in every possible mode. Out of the 99 child restraint systems rated in
2006, 85 received an A for all of their modes, 9 received a B for all of their
modes, and 5 had mixed scores of A and B among their different modes. The
percentage of overall A ratings awarded increased almost 5 percent from 2005.
- As in 2005, there were no child restraints that received an overall C rating.
There were still several C scores within the categories, but the percentage of C
scores was nearly the same as in 2005.
- Three seats that were rated in previous years improved their overall scores
from a B to an A. These car seats were the Triple Play Sit ‘N Stroll (formerly
manufactured by Safeline), Evenflo Big Kid (HB), and Evenflo Discovery.
- A number of redesigned seats that were re-rated maintained their A ratings. In
most cases, improvements were seen within categories that had formerly been
assigned B or C ratings. These seats were the Cosco Alpha Omega 5pt, Evenflo Big
Kid (No Back), Evenflo Embrace, Evenflo Discovery, Graco Comfort Sport, and
Safety 1st Surveyor.
The best child safety seat is the one that fits your child properly, is easy to
use, and fits in your vehicle correctly. The best way to ensure a proper fit in
your vehicle is to try installing the child seat before purchasing.
Contact Monheit Law for a free legal car seat lawsuit consultation.