VANDALIA, OH (November 1, 2008) - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the federal agency that creates safety regulations for motor vehicles. In 2002, NHTSA implemented its Ease of Use program, a government rating system that grades child restraint systems on how easy they are to properly install. The goal of the program is to help guide parents and caregivers in choosing the right car seat to keep their children safe.
When child restraint systems are use properly, they reduce fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers in passenger cars. NHTSA data indicates that seven out of 10 child restraint systems are either the wrong size for the child or seriously misused, reducing their effectiveness in a crash.
NHTSA recently announced a new five-star rating system for use with this existing Ease of Use Program. The new system assigns a star rating from one to five to child restraints based upon NHTSA’s determination of how easy they are to install properly.
It is important to know that NHTSA’s Ease of Use rating system does not measure the safety or performance of a child restraint in a crash. All child restraints sold today meet or exceed rigorous Federal crash test standards and are extensively tested by manufacturers and the government.
Evenflo supports NHTSA’s efforts in the Ease of Use program. Evenflo’s own “Safety Made Easier” campaign reflects our commitment to provide parents with new product innovations and educational tools to facilitate proper car seat installation and use. We recently introduced the new and enhanced Triumph Advance convertible car seat which has first-to-market innovations and new features that focus on safety while enhancing ease of installation and use. Look for even more new category innovations this summer.
Below are some common questions about the new rating system that will be used with NHTSA’s Ease of Use Program:
What is the Ease of Use Program?
NHTSA created Ease of Use ratings to provide information to consumers about NHTSA’s determination of how easy it is to use the child restraints on the market. The rating system is intended to give consumers information about how easy it is to install different car seats when they are purchasing a car seat.
What do the new ratings mean?
NHTSA updated its Ease of Use rating system with a new “Star Rating” system. With the new system, a child restraint can receive an Ease of Use rating from 1 to 5 stars.
Each seat is evaluated on:
How easy it is to use and install
Whether it includes certain installation features
Amount of content on the labels and instructions.
Five stars represent the highest rating, meaning that the child restraint was judged by NHTSA to have excellent features, making installation very easy. A lower star rating for a child restraint does not mean it has a poor design. It may simply have a design that does not include the features that provide the easiest installation, so it may take a few extra steps to use properly. Keep in mind that the Ease of Use rating system DOES NOT measure either the safety or the performance of a child restraint in a crash.
My child restraint received a lower rating under the new star system. Is it still safe?
Yes, your child restraint is still safe. All child restraints sold today meet or exceed rigorous Federal crash test standards and are extensively tested by both manufacturers and the government. The Ease of Use rating that your child restraint received provides information only on NHTSA’s determination of how easy it is to use the child restraint. There is no reason to be concerned about the crash performance or safety of your child restraint.
Why did my child restraint receive a low rating?
A lower star rating only means that your child restraint model does not have some features that can make installation and use easier based on NHTSA’s rating criteria. There is no reason to be concerned about the crash performance or safety of your child restraint.