85% of child seats are deemed unsafe

Only 15% of child seats were fitted correctly for the child using it

Children under the age of 12, by law, are required to use a child seat when travelling in a vehicle. Most children that age aren’t great at comparing the quality and prices online of child seats, so it’s normally up to their parents to sort it all out.

Child seats are hugely important for a whole host of reasons, both small, you could face a £100 fine, and much, much larger, a child’s safety.

But a new investigation from What Car? reveals that 85% of child seats are actually fitted incorrectly or are the inappropriate size for the child using them, placing their safety at serious risk.

Investigation results

What Car? really went into detail with their investigation. Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • 36% of the seats checked were fitted correctly in the car
  • However, only 15% were both correctly fitted and the right size for the child
  • 74% of the seats fitted incorrectly could be fixed on the spot
  • 5% of the incorrectly fitted seats, though, were ‘condemned’ and unable to fix

The two main issues spotted were non-ISOFIX seats not being secured correctly with a seatbelt, and the seat being the wrong size for the child using it.

Having a seat is not enough

As Steve Huntingford, Editor at What Car? explains, it’s great that so many drivers have a child seat, but more needs to be done to make sure they’re used safely.

He said: “It’s clear that the overwhelming majority of drivers are aware of their responsibilities when carrying a child in the car. But, unless the child car seats have ISOFIX attachments, there’s confusion over how to correctly fit them and ensure your child’s safety.

“We would urge anyone who transports children in car seats to seek professional advice about fitting them and buy their seats from specialists who offer free support not only at the time of purchase, but for the lifespan of the product.”

Child car seat law changed back in March. In case you’re not aware of the changes, or just fancy a refresher, check out our simple guide to the new rules.

Got a trip planned with the family? Visit our ‘Family driving’ hub for news and advice.

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