What Makes LATCH Easier to Use?

This article reviews the vehicle design features that make the use of “Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children” (LATCH), a system of using lower anchors instead of seat belts to attach a child seat. The author reports on a new Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) study, conducted with the help of Safe Kids Worldwide, that found that modifying LATCH anchor setups in vehicles could improve child restraint installation rates. There are two components to LATCH: the lower attachments on child seats that connect to anchors on the vehicle seat, and top tethers on forward-facing child car seats that attach to anchors on the vehicle’s rear shelf, seat back, floor, cargo area, or ceiling. The three key factors associated with correct lower anchor use were depth, clearance, and force. The study under discussion, conducted in 2010-2012 involved drivers arriving at safety checkpoints with child restraints already installed in their vehicles. The study found that restraints were nearly twice as likely to be attached correctly when installed with the lower anchors rather than with the safety belt. Among vehicles at checkpoints, SUVs and minivans were more likely to meet all three lower anchor installation criteria than cars. Readers are referred to the full study at publications@iihs.org (Cicchino and Jermakian).


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Photos;
  • Pagination: pp 6-7
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01539362
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 4 2014 2:42PM