Nine months ago, we blogged about the improper restraint methods used to transport a newborn Prince George of the UK home from the hospital. Unfortunately, the Royal Family is once again making international news for their concerning child passenger safety practices.
Today, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released a new study in its latest Status Report regarding LATCH ease-of-use. Although child restraint systems (CRS) installed with LATCH or with a vehicle seat belt are equally safe, LATCH was mandated in motor vehicles beginning with model year 2003 in order to make CRS installation easier. However, research has shown that parents can struggle to correctly install a CRS using LATCH.
Today, Consumer Reports released new infant seat ratings from its latest test protocol based on crash testing, ease-of-use, and fit-to-vehicle. After testing 34 commercially available infant seats, the consumer advocates group classified five seats as “basic,” 16 as “better,” and 13 as “best.”
The Child Passenger Safety Technician community should be prepared to field questions from consumer parents who wonder how they should interpret these results. Is their “basic” rated child seat is still safe to use? Here are few points to consider:
Driving simulators offer a safe, highly reproducible environment for assessing driver behavior. However, reducing the data to easy-to-interpret metrics can be extremely time-consuming and effortful. Even worse, it can be error-prone. My recent research involves the development of a tool to help standardize driving simulator results called DriveLab.