Does Your Baby's Car Seat Meet Consumer Reports' New Standards?

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Consumer Reports recently released new safety ratings for 34 child safety seats. The new ratings are based on independent lab tests for frontal collisions. But of the 34 tested only 13 seats received “Best” ratings. How did your baby’s car seat measure up?

The rear-facing infant and newborn safety seats were strapped onto a “sled” with a Ford Fusion rear bench seat – which Consumer Reports said represents an average vehicle seat on the road today. The test also added a “blocker plate” in front of the sled that simulated the front seat of the vehicle. The sled was then pushed forward and stopped abruptly to simulate a 35-mile-per-hour head-on collision.

This new standard goes beyond the federal safety standards, which are based on a 30 mile-per-hour collision and a different seat cushion. All 34 infant car seats passed the federal standards, but 5 weren’t so lucky in the Consumer Reports’ test and were given only a “Basic” rating.

For example, the Evenflo Embrace 35 and Snugli Infant Car Seat detached from their bases when the sled rebounded from the collision. The base of the Graco SnugRide Classic Connect cracked. The Orbit Baby Infant Car Seat G2 and the Maxi-Cosi Prezi by Dorel had a significantly higher risk of head injury than other car seats.

But it’s not all bad news. Of the remaining car seats, 13 were rated “Best” and 16 were rated “Better”. In all the tests the dummy stayed in the carrier and securely in the harness, and the carrier itself was not damaged.

Car seats like the ones tested by Consumer Reports are responsible for a 43% reduction in child deaths in automobile accidents from 2002 to 2011. Any car seat that meets the federal standard will protect your baby in low-speed collisions. But 13 are the “Best” of the best.

If your baby has been injured in a car crash, contact the No-Fault legal experts at Christensen Law for a consultation as soon as possible.