(Last Updated On: April 20, 2022)
Buckle that Booster
We’ve all been there. You’re driving down the road, everything is going fine and then all of a sudden you have to slam on your brakes. While you’re working hard not to hit the car in front of you that stopped so suddenly, your purse on the seat next to you hits the floor, your child’s backpack on the empty vehicle seat next to them hits the back of the driver’s seat, and the stack of mail on the center console goes flying.
Hopefully, nobody other than your pile of mail was hurt after the sudden stop. After grumbling a bit, you go back to an uneventful drive.
We strongly advocate for best practice, but we live in the real world too. We understand that not everyone’s car is perfectly empty of everything but passengers and safety seats. Putting best practice to work means both reducing the number of potentially dangerous projectiles in your vehicle and reducing the risks to passengers by properly stowing and securing the stuff we have to haul around.
Beware the Flying Booster Seat
One potential projectile that frequently gets overlooked is your child’s booster seat. Unless the booster seat has lower anchors, booster seats need to be buckled back in each and every time your child exits the car.
A booster seat that sits on the vehicle seat and is not secured in any way can go hurtling through your car in the event of a sudden stop or a crash and strike a passenger, possibly causing severe injury.
Most boosters seats that have either flexible lower anchors or rigid LATCH don’t need to be buckled in when they aren’t in use. Verify in your booster seat’s manual.
If the booster doesn’t also require the seat to be buckled in, just attach the booster to the vehicle using those lower anchors and it’s secure!
Boosters that don’t have lower anchors do need to be buckled into the vehicle when they’re not in use. This also applies to seating positions that do not have lower anchors. We suggest teaching your booster rider to buckle the booster seat in when they exit the vehicle. Like any new habit, this can be challenging to implement, but the safety benefits are worth every ounce of effort!