What car seat is safest?

The safest car seat is the one that fits your child properly, is easy to use, and fits in your vehicle correctly

Car seats are only effective if used correctly.  NHTSA estimates that 3 out of car seats are installed incorrectly.

All car seats rated by NHTSA meet Federal Safety Standards & strict crash performance standards. While all seats on the market are safe, they do differ in their ease of use in four basic categories:

  • Evaluation of Instructions: Examines the content and clarity of the instruction manual for the restraint.
  • Vehicle Installation Features: Examines the ease of using features that pertain to installing the child restraint in a vehicle.
  • Evaluation of Labels: Examines the content and clarity of the labeling attached to the child restraint.
  • Securing the Child: Examines the ease of using features that pertain to securing a child correctly in the restraint.

Again, these ratings assess how easy certain car seat features are to use, not crash worthiness.

NHTSA uses a five-star rating system to help consumers evaluate the four basic ease-of-use category ratings:

5 stars = Excellent features on this child restraint for this category.
 4 stars = Above average features on this child restraint for this category.
 3 stars = Average features on this child restraint for this category.
 2 stars = Below average features on this child restraint for this category.
 star = Poor features on this child restraint for this category.

N/A

= Does not contain any features that require a rating.

Search NHTSA’s Ease-of-Use Ratings here.