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An insurance industry research group has concluded in its recent study that child safety seats are difficult to install in cars due to the design of most passenger seats.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, only 21 out of 98 top-selling 2010 and 2011 model year vehicles feature seats that are easy to use with child restraints. The low percentage is despite the American auto industry uses the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (Latch) system designed to make it easier to install child car seats.

The report said that car manufacturers did not pay enough attention on how the Latch system works when designing the back seats.

Tests were conducted using 36 volunteers, each asked to install three different child car seats to three different vehicles. The results were dismaying, as only 13% of the volunteers were able to install the child seats securely and tightly.

The researchers found that the lower anchors intended to attach the restraint systems were often placed too deep in the passenger seats. They also found that seat belt buckles, bolstering, and other upholstery features prevented the restraints from being properly secured.

The designs of the back seats sometimes required to exert a huge amount of force, up to 40 pounds on some instances, to properly attach the child seat to the lower anchors.

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