If you've ever done it, you know installing a car seat isn't easy. And even after reading the directions and doing their best, most parents get it wrong.
In fact, safety seat checkups find three out of four seats improperly installed, and that can have devastating consequences.
The trouble is, current child seats are held in place using the car's seat belts, which were really designed to hold people, and that has led to a confusing mess.
"There's over 100 types of seats, over 900 vehicles, and they simply just don't fit together," explains Dr. Ricardo Martinez, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
So now, the government will require safety seats to have latches which will match up with permanent anchor points in all new cars.
All you do to secure the seat is slide the latches onto the anchor and clip on the top tether strap. It's that simple. A perfect fit every time.
"We think that's a great improvement...makes it easier to do the right thing, and also makes it safer, simpler, and more secure," says Dr. Martinez.
The new anchoring system will be available in a few vehicles starting this fall. It will be required in all models over the next few years.
By Herb Weisbaum
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