Too Many Parents Skimp on Booster Seat Use

Boosterseat

After years of wrangling with heavy child-safety seats, Latch systems and five-point harnesses, booster seats seem so "easy." At their most basic, these car seats raise up a child so a seat belt is positioned correctly to protect them in a crash. However, even this easy car seat is being used incorrectly — or not used at all — by parents.

Related: 19 New Booster Seats Earn IIHS Best Bet Title

A new study from Safe Kids Worldwide found that 9 out of 10 parents move their child out of the booster seat too soon. Based on a national online survey of 1,000 parents of kids between ages 4 and 10, the study also found that 70 percent of parents didn't know when a child should be moved out of a booster seat.

The study, which was partially funded by a General Motors Foundation grant and released during Child Passenger Safety Week, also found that 1 in 5 parents with children in carpools "bend the rules" when they're the driver, allowing kids to ride in the car without their seat belts or without their car seats. One in 4 parent respondents said they don't make their child buckle up on every ride.

By Jennifer Newman | September 16, 2014 | Comments (0)

Child Passenger Safety Week: Protect That Precious Cargo

ChildPassengerWeek

Child-safety seats are an important part of keeping your child safe in your car. To be effective, however, they must be installed correctly. This is harder than it sounds; 3 out of 4 children aren't as safe in a car because their car seat is installed incorrectly, according to Safe Kids Oregon, a nonprofit agency dedicated to children's safety.

Related: Car Seat Checks

This week is Child Passenger Safety Week, a time to remind parents about proper car seat use and encourage them to check their children's car seats for correct installation and use.

At Cars.com, we have four editors who are certified child passenger safety technicians. We use our expertise to cover car-seat news and recalls as well as conduct Car Seat Checks with test cars that arrive at our Chicago headquarters.

For parents, here are a few stories and a video that will help ensure that they're using their child's car seat correctly:

NHTSA image

By Jennifer Newman | September 15, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Audi A3: Car Seat Check

15A3_main

The 2015 Audi A3 ditches its hatchback design for the sleek lines of a sedan. With its redesign, the 2015 A3 has grown 7.5 inches in length. That extra room helped make it easy to install our child-safety seats in this compact sedan.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

More Car Seat Checks

By Jennifer Newman | September 11, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Hyundai Sonata: Car Seat Check

15Sonata_main

The Hyundai Sonata has a new look — both inside and out — for 2015. This midsize family sedan leaves its curves behind in favor of sharper angles. For families with young kids, this redesigned Sonata made easy work of car-seat installation thanks to its exposed Latch anchors, and it managed to improve on its previous generation's scores. The 2015 Sonata nearly fit our three child-safety seats across its backseat. Narrow car seats might allow parents to fit three across.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

More Car Seat Checks

By Jennifer Newman | September 9, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Infiniti QX70S: Car Seat Check

15QX70_main

Last year, Infiniti's sporty two-row crossover dumped its FX prefix for a QX, and thus the FX37 became the QX70. Now, for the 2015 model year, the QX70 has dropped its low-selling 5.0-liter V-8 engine offering, opting instead just to go with the more popular 3.7-liter V-6.

We last tested the QX70 more than a year ago when it went by the different moniker, though some of our complaints about legroom, Latch anchors and tether anchors feel the same. Still, the luxury crossover's letter grades generally went unchanged, and in the case of the rear-facing convertible seat even improved from a C to an A. Find out how well it made the grade below.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

More Car Seat Checks

By Matt Schmitz | September 4, 2014 | Comments (0)

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: August 2014

2014_Honda_Accord_EX_L_V_6_Sedan011

The Honda Accord topped the Toyota Camry to become the nation's best-selling car in August. The Accord's sales surged 32.5 percent and signaled a return by shoppers to the tried-and-true family schleppers — midsize sedans — as kids headed back to school. Shoppers flocked toward popular models like the Accord, Ford Fusion (up 19.5 percent) and Hyundai Sonata (up 24.7 percent) as family-sedan nameplates gained 9.5 percent in overall sales. The Accord, in particular, had a few more incentives than a year ago, which is rare for Honda, and shoppers responded. It put the Accord above the Camry in monthly sales for the first time since December 2013.

Related: August's Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars

With sales from the largest seven automakers up 5.1 percent, industry projections suggest a sales pace not seen since mid-2006. Shoppers chose Chrysler (up 19.8 percent) and Nissan (up 11.5 percent) more than other automakers. GM, whose sales fell 1.2 percent on slow Buick and Cadillac sales, was the only automaker to see a drop. Whether this can be blamed on the automaker's recall crisis is hard to say, given GM has seen a sales uptick through much of the year.

By Kelsey Mays | September 3, 2014 | Comments (6)

2015 Toyota Sienna Price Jumps $1,680 Over 2014 Model

15Sienna

With a revised interior and a refreshed front end, Toyota hopes to draw families to its 2015 Sienna minivan. The starting price, however, might have them thinking twice: The 2015 Sienna starts at $29,485, including an $885 destination charge. That's a price increase of $1,680 over the 2014 Sienna L base model ($27,805).

Related: Toyota Releases Details on Updated 2015 Sienna

However, the base Sienna's price is less than the 2015 Honda Odyssey ($29,805) and the 2015 Chrysler Town & Country ($30,990). The 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan has the Sienna beat on price, though. The Grand Caravan SE base trim starts at $24,790.

While the Sienna's looks are new for 2015, the engine remains the same as the 2014 model year. The 266-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. A 2015 all-wheel-drive Sienna gets an EPA-estimated 16/22 mg city/highway; the 2014 Sienna with all-wheel drive earned 16/23 mpg.

By Jennifer Newman | September 2, 2014 | Comments (20)

How to Clean Up Spills in the Car

Cleanup

When you're traveling with family in the car, at some point you're going to be faced with cleaning up a spill. If you're lucky, the spill will be harmless, like water, or maybe even pleasantly aromatic, like peppermint tea. But let's get real: The majority of us have had to deal with spilt milk from leaky sippy cups that have rolled under the car's seats, only to be found when the nuclear stench assaults our senses. Or the worst of all: the aftereffects of carsick children or leaky diapers.

Read More #FamilyCarAdvice

I was initiated into the club during the Great Strawberry Milk Episode of '09. My daughters each left a box of strawberry milk in the back of my Volvo C30, and the small cartons leaked milk between the car's rear seats and side panels. I'm almost always driving test cars rather than my own, so the milk had several hot summer weeks to spoil and ferment in my garage before I entered the car and proceeded to gag.

What's a parent to do in the event of a potentially noxious spill in the car? Here are our tried and true techniques:

By Kristin Varela | September 2, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Dodge Durango: What's Changed

2015DodgeDurango

Most significant changes: New Blacktop and Rallye Appearance packages, Beats by Dre audio

Price change: TBD

On sale: Late 2014

Which should you buy, 2014 or 2015? 2014

Dodge's seven-passenger Durango SUV received a pretty major update for the 2014 model year, bringing new powertrains, styling and interior appointments to the big traditional truck, so for 2015 Dodge is limiting changes to making the Durango look and sound even cooler.

Related: 2014 Dodge Durango Expert Review

The popular Rallye Appearance Package is extended to the Limited trim level as well as the base SXT, bringing the R/T's monochromatic look, smoked headlights, ground effects package and 20-inch Hyper Black wheels to the lower trim levels. The Rallye Appearance Package SXT still gets black cloth seats, while the Limited will feature leather, and both models get a dual exhaust on the V-6 trucks.

By Aaron Bragman | September 1, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Acura MDX: Car Seat Check

15MDX_main

With a 2014 redesign under its belt, it's no surprise that the Acura MDX is unchanged for 2015. What has changed is the child-safety seats we use for our Car Seat Checks. We were able to fit three car seats across the MDX's second-row bench, but there wasn't enough room between the booster seat and rear-facing infant seat for easy buckling access. Because the second row's middle bottom seat cushion is shorter than the outboard seats, about 30 percent of the infant seat base was hanging off the front of the seat. It's recommended that at least 80 percent of a child-safety seat is touching the car's seat. Parents should keep an eye on proper fit when installing car seats in this middle seating position.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two; three could fit if using narrow car seats

How many car seats fit in the third row? Two

More Car Seat Checks

By Jennifer Newman | August 28, 2014 | Comments (0)

Search Results

KickingTires Search Results for

Search Kicking Tires

KickingTires iPhone App
Ask.cars.com