Booster seats substantially reduce children’s risk of injuries in a car accident. However, those risks may not be affected at all if the seat does not come with a proper safety belt fit. According to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, close to 50% of children’s car booster seats available in the market do not come with a good belt fit, and may be unsafe for children .

In fact, according to the Insurance Institute study, at least six of the booster seats that it studied were so bad that the agency recommended avoiding them altogether. The biggest factor in whether booster seats can prevent injuries in an accident is how well the safety belt fits. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated 83 booster seats.

Out of these, 41 got a “check fit” rating because these did not have a good belt fit. The Insurance Institute rated 36 as “good bets” or “best bets” indicating that these had a satisfactory belt fit.

Part of the reason why the Insurance Institute found so many booster seats without a proper fit is that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does not evaluate booster seats based on seat belt fit. The Insurance Institute found six booster seats so bad that it recommended that parents avoid them. These included four booster seats made by Evenflo and two manufactured by Dorel Safety First.

Automobile accidents are the number one cause death for children below the age of five. However, Houston car accident lawyers have found a decline in child accident death rates as car seat and booster seat usage around the country has increased. Parents must ensure that they are buying the right-sized safety seat or booster seat for their child, and that these are the manufactured by a reputed manufacturer, and meet all safety specifications.