Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children, or LATCH, is a system used in cars to make attaching a child safety seat easier. These anchors can be used in addition to securing the seat by using the vehicle’s safety belt system.

In order to encourage car makers to design an easy to use system that invites adults to utilize it when installing a child restraint, vehicle safety boards designed a comprehensive test of this system. A four-part evaluation rates designs from Good to Poor, judging them on merits like accessibility, the angle of installation, and the physical force necessary to tether the seat. The location of the anchors and the hardware used are also evaluated.

A vehicle with a good rating indicates ease of use of the system rather than safety, as child restraint seats utilizing a vehicle’s harness system alone will meet safety requirements. As it is difficult to test every vehicle in a model year, car manufacturers can also opt into a rating verification system.



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