Study suggests need for improvement in car seat compatibility - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

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>>

  • FBI joins the search for Armada teen's killer

    FBI joins the search for Armada teen's killer

    Friday, July 25 2014 11:08 PM EDT2014-07-26 03:08:38 GMT
    The FBI has joined the investigation team searching for the killer of a 14-year-old Armada girl, April Millsap.
    The FBI has joined the investigation team searching for the killer of a 14-year-old Armada girl, April Millsap. Authorities also say they are now looking for a small motorcycle in addition to the gray, dented van seen in the area.
  • Vandals damage historic Detroit cemetery

    Vandals damage historic Detroit cemetery

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:38 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:38:55 GMT
    Police are looking for suspects after vandals disturb the peace at a historic Detroit cemetery. Someone broke into a mausoleum and made a mess with spray paint and ashes.
    Police are looking for suspects after vandals disturb the peace at a historic Detroit cemetery. Someone broke into a mausoleum and made a mess with spray paint and ashes.
  • Man hospitalized after run-in with Ecorse police

    Man hospitalized after run-in with Ecorse police

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:05 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:05:54 GMT
    Witnesses and lawyers say a man was attacked by Ecorse police Monday morning even though he was complying with police demands.
    Witnesses and lawyers say a man was attacked by Ecorse police Monday morning even though he was complying with police demands.
Powered by WorldNow

WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
5151 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Main Number: (202) 244-5151
Newsroom: (202) 895-3000
fox5tips@wttg.com

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