NHTSA Report - 2017 National Survey of the Use of Booster Seats


The 2017 NSUBS was posted recently, and is the only probability-based nationwide child restraint use survey in the United States that observes restraint use and interviews an adult occupant to collect race, ethnicity, and other data.


The following are some major findings from the 2017 NSUBS:

  • The appropriate restraint system for 4- to 7-year-old children is either a forward-facing car seat or a booster seat, depending on the child’s height and weight.
    • In 2017, the NSUBS found that the child restraint use for this age group was 68.5 percent (28.4 percent were in forward facing car seat and 40.1 percent were in booster seat), an increase from 62.4 percent in 2015.
    • In 2017, as many as 31.4 percent of children 4- to 7 years old were not being properly restrained (20.8 percent were restrained by seat belts and 10.6 percent were unrestrained), a decrease from 37.4 percent in 2015.
  • Premature transition to restraint types that are not appropriate for children’s age, height, and weight continued in 2017. However, about 7.6 percent of children 1 to 3 years old were prematurely transitioned to booster seats in 2017, a significant decrease from 13.6 percent in 2015.