Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Levitt on car seats

I have written before about Steve Levitt's research on car seats and whether we need them. See here and here. Below is his TED talk outlining that research. In terms of cost, I don't think it is worth throwing away a car seat you might have. But what this research is suggesting is that unless you are rigorous in making sure your child is put in exactly correctly when you drive, you might actually be putting them at more risk with a car seat than with a lap belt. Indeed, the lap belt with integrated booster may be the best solution overall as it maps real world behaviour and outcomes with design. And no one has looked at the impact of having a car seat on an older child sitting right next to them during a crash. Don't we owe it to our kids to find out much more about this before imposing standards and thinking that we are done.