Evaluating LATCH System Ease of Use and Key Features in New Vehicles

Each year, more than 640 children ages eight and under are killed in motor vehicle crashes, and a substantial number of these vulnerable passengers are improperly restrained or completely unrestrained. The Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) system for vehicles and child safety seats was intended to improve child passenger safety by reducing user error and providing a more effective means of child restraint. Even in the more than 10 years since LATCH was first required, user error has continued, and child passenger safety remains a critical issue. These reports, therefore, analyze LATCH ease-of-use concerns and opportunities for reducing user error and enhancing the systems' key features in new vehicles. The November report presents the findings of an expert workshop and human factors analyses; the February study reports the results of a survey of certified child passenger safety technicians.