Study suggests need for improvement in car seat compatibility - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Study suggests need for improvement in car seat compatibility

Posted: Updated:
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -

When it was time to buy car seats for her two little boys, Kelly Zimmerman says she was willing to spend whatever it took to keep them safe. However, even after settling on fairly expensive seats, she had to resort to using a towel to make them level.

"I didn't feel comfortable with that solution though," she says. "To put a rolled towel under the seat just made me feel a little uncomfortable."

Zimmerman's not alone. A new study looking into how cars and car seats fit together suggests that solutions like these might be unsettling, but they are not at all unusual.

John Bolte, a researcher at the Ohio State University College of Medicine, has tested nearly 3,200 combinations of car seats and vehicles. He and his team are finding that back seat designs vary widely, meaning not all cars and car seats are a good fit.

"It's impossible just to sit the car seat on the car, or on the seat pan, and have it match up perfectly," Bolte says. "And so there are some things I think we could improve upon." 

Bolte says that before you buy a seat, you should measure your car. Pay attention to the angle of the seat, the width and even things like built-in headrests.

"If it's a set headrest at an angle, and you have such a tall car seat, the car seat won't sit back against the back of the seat because the headrest is in the way," he says.

Experts are working with carmakers and car seat companies to encourage more compatibility. In the meantime, before you buy a car seat, ask if you can take it outside and install it to see how it fits. Once it's in, you can check with your local fire department to make sure that it's safely installed.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Grosse Pointe Park's new farmer's market seen by some as a barrier to Detroit

    Grosse Pointe Park's new farmer's market seen by some as a barrier to Detroit

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:25 PM EDT2014-07-29 03:25:26 GMT
    Some Detroiters are calling for a boycott of Grosse Pointe Park after the city built a farmer's market that they believe cuts off access to and from Detroit.
    Some Detroiters are calling for a boycott of Grosse Pointe Park after the city built a farmer's market that they believe cuts off access to and from Detroit.
  • Detroit teen recovering after basketball accident at park

    Detroit teen recovering after basketball accident at park

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:51 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:51:50 GMT
    A Detroit teen is seriously hurt after an accident at a Detroit park. He has a long road to recovery ahead, but has a strong support system that isn't giving up hope.
    A Detroit teen is seriously hurt after an accident at a Detroit park. He has a long road to recovery ahead, but has a strong support system that isn't giving up hope.

  • Man shot, killed during carjacking on Detroit's west side

    Man shot, killed during carjacking on Detroit's west side

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:37 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:37:16 GMT
    A man was shot to death in an attempted carjacking on Detroit's west side, according to police.
    A man was shot to death in an attempted carjacking on Detroit's west side, according to police.
Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices