It’s the law in most states that when your child outgrows the car seat, you’ll need a booster seat instead. Tragically, more than 1,000 children’s lives end in passenger vehicle crashes every year, and another 100,000 kids are injured, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). A booster seat helps improve the adult-belt fit for children, typically aged 4 to 8 and shorter than 4 feet 9 inches. But with so many kinds on the market, how do you choose the right one?
Parents will want to do their homework, and there are a number of good sources to help them make an informed decision. The IIHS, for example, performs an annual booster evaluation to recommend its safest bets. Using a test dummy roughly the size of a 6-year-old, IIHS engineers measure how the adult belt fits a child in each tested booster under four vehicle-safety conditions. Find the most recent results on the IIHS Booster Evaluation web page.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also provides guidelines on choosing the right car seat for your child, along with an online list of recommended booster seats, rated by ease of use, that meet Federal Safety Standards and strict crash performance standards.
If you’re purchasing a new vehicle, you can access safety information (along with price and model and dealership details) using the GEICO Car Buying Service Powered by TrueCar.
By Heather Li
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