What is the safest position for car seats?

Positioning Baby Car Seats and Child Car Seats

Statistics prove that the rear seat is safer than the front seat. This is based on several factors:

  • Front seat air bags can cause serious or fatal injuries to infants and toddlers.
  • The front passenger compartment is more likely to sustain impact damage than the rear seat area in a frontal collision, the most common type of vehicle crash.
  • The center rear seat is the safest position for a car seat because it's centered, away from the most common impact points during collisions. Studies show that children seated in the center rear area have a 43% lower risk of injury than kids seated in side door window seats.

Proper Child Safety Seat Installation

Safe seat positioning becomes a mute point if the baby car seat is not properly secured. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 80% of all car seats are improperly installed. The myriad of car seats and vehicle car seats with which to attach makes it difficult for manufacturers to agree on one universal attachment system.
After installing a car seat take the time to have it inspected at a child safety seat inspection station. A certified technician will either commend you on your installation skills or show you how to install properly. Either way it's a win-win situation for you and your child.

You can search for an inspection station near you by zip code on the NHTSA website. Or, call your local police department. Many departments offer free monthly inspections.

Safety Laws for Child Car Seats

Be sure to educate yourself on your state's child restraint laws. For assistance, check with your local DMV. Even if it does not have the answer, it can instruct you on where to find your state's car seat laws.

Knowing the law benefits the safety of your child and your wallet. Depending on your state, you can be hit with a hefty fine (the maximum fine in Nevada is $500) for not complying with local car seat requirements.

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