Where Should You Put Your Car Seat? [10 Common Mistakes Explained]

Where Should You Put Your Car Seat

For your child, you’ve picked a secure car seat and are ready to go together for a family adventure! It is crucial to understand where should you put your car seat? Before you get started.

Statistically, the center of the rear seat is the most secure position in the vehicle.

You must do a lot to make sure your child has an enjoyable in a secure car seat.

We suggest adding your car seat on the rear seat – in the center. For example, you must install several car seats or if your car is not appropriate for central placement, you might need to explore other solutions.

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What side of the car should the car seat be on?

The middle is the safest, provided you have a proper installation in every seating position.

If the center seat placement can’t be well and securely installed, it is no more the safest location. We need this idea to be reiterated so let me state it in a different way. A decent vehicle seater is more vital than being in the center of the seat.

If the central seat is a challenge for you but a successful side seat installation is achieved, place the seat in the front seat position of the passenger.

When is the center not the safest location?

For kids newborn to 3 years sitting in the middle back, research published in Pediatrics shows 43% better than sitting on the back of their side.

The rear passenger side of the car was determined to be the most popular place in one car seat (41% of the parents had placed the children’s car seat). This could be to make it easy to reach and to look at the infant. We don’t know why there are so many parents who are putting your car seat.

Where Should You Put Your Car Seat? Positioning Child Car Seats in Cars

Consider where you want your kid to be in the car when you choose a children’s car seat and make sure it is correctly positioned in your children’s car.

Position 1: The safest place for Front Passenger Seat

Your kids can ride safer in their back seat than in the front seat. Most parents want to keep a watch on their newborn or baby and place it in front of them. They are safer behind, and mind that you will be preoccupied and more likely to an accident while you are attempting to drive and care for a youngster at the same time.

For purposes of safety, if a newborn or kid has to be observed, ask another person to go behind them.

When there is an activated passenger airbag, NEVER install a rearward-facing infant seat in the front. The fact that when the airbag leaves the child’s seat it will strike and fly it forward with substantial force is unlawful and hazardous.

You can lawfully have the rear-facing infant seat on the front of your car does not provide airbags on the forward, or if they could be disabled, or if the car has sensing devices that automatically turn off your airbag when you equip the child’s seat. But fitting it in the back is still preferable.

Please ensure your car seat is as far back as it goes so that your baby is as far as you can from the dashboard when you need a forward-facing seat in the front. Double verify that the kid’s seat is extremely firmly secured by the safety harness and that the child seat or the car seat belt are secured.

  • the back place of the newborn passenger
  • the kids in the backside of the driver
  • All in their proper constraints are the aged four years old in a traveler front seat position (with airbags being disabled and the front seat in the rear end).
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Position 2: Rear Seat Behind the Driver or passenger seat

Choose one of the seatbacks if feasible. You can have the youngster inside or outside the car on the side of the car while using this seat. However, this seat would be preferable to the contrary direction if you would typically park your car side near to the pavement.

Please ensure that the kid seat can be installed appropriately in this location if you are using this seat.

Position 3: Middle Rear Seat

The safest position to position a kid restraint (unless the company’s guidance tells one other seat is preferable) is when the center back seat has a three-point safety harness (the lap and the diagonal), which is most remote from the side of the vehicle.

Test the child locking guidelines to determine whether the center of the rear seat has a lap-only seatbelt. Many car seats for children need a seat belt with three points. Fit the back seat with the lap and diagonal seat belt if this happens

You can only utilize the middle back seat with Isofix points when you have an ISOFIX or i-size kid seat.

Position 4: Rear Seat Behind the Front Passenger

This chair is preferable to use than the one behind the driver since it generally means you may take the child into or out of the car on the other side of the road.

Ensure that the child’s sitting can be properly suited.

Watch this video for more information

10 common car seat mistakes explained

A car seat might be a costly one when you have a menu of 47 items for your kid to purchase.

But vehicle accidents injury is one of the top deaths among children in the USA, therefore a decent car seat is a major safety device for the kids you buy.

Car seat systems can lower the risk of accident injuries by 71 to 82%, when properly fitted and utilized, based on the current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

However, the International Child Restraint Study revealed that car seats in an astounding 59% of cases were abused (by incorrect setup or child restraint).

Here are 10 common mistakes that you should avoid for your safety.

Mistake No. 1: Wrong Car Seat

It is vital to include a car seat that not only suits your children’s weight and height, but also their age, whether you put your kid in a child seat that has been left out or you have transferred your baby to a booster seat.

When they reach their height or weight restriction, kids have outgrown a car seat.

Mistake No 2: Forgetting to Register the Car Seat

The little card with each new car seat can easily be overlooked, but it is vital key to identify your kid safe. 

The registration of your car seat enables the automaker to notify you in case of recall. If the registration card has been miss-placed or you are not sure that the seater is licensed, NHTSA has facility that offers each car seat producer an online registration link

Mistake No. 3: Not Reading the Manual

You should not only study the manual for your car seat owner to ensure that you properly use it, but you really should also read the instructions of your car owner — concentrating on kid security and cross-referencing it to your handset.

The handbook of the automobile shows where the locking anchors are situated and how to secure a seatbelt for the installation of a car seat and more useful information.

Mistake No. 4: Car Seat Is Facing the Wrong Direction

Children should travel back in their car seats until they are at least 2 years old and parents should maintain them there until they break the height or weight restrictions of their car seat. The rear-facing car seat provides superior safety for the head and neck during crashes than the forward-facing ones.

Some parents have expressed worry that their children are unpleasant when they are older and remain in the rear seat, but children are resilient and find a comfy posture whether they cross their legs or lay on the seat.

Mistake No. 5: Rear-Facing Car Seat Isn’t at Correct Recline Angle

According to the suggestion of the car seat company, a rear-facing car seat should be leaned 30 to 45 degrees. 

It’s crucial since this angle helps maintain the infant airways open, but not all manufacturers advocate the same angle. 

As the child has greater control over the head, they might be faster. 

Check the recline indication for your rear-facing car seat.

Mistake No. 6: Using Both the Latch System and Seat Belt for Installation

Most parents assume that more is greater when it comes to car seats, and both the Latch mechanism and the seat belts are used to attach their car seat.

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More can be hazardous in this scenario: The car seats were not accident tested using both seat belts and fastening Latch systems, so it’s unknown how the car seat is — or will not — going to crash. Only use Seat Belt — make sure it is latched — or the Latch Mechanism when installing a vehicle seat.

Mistake No. 7: Car-Seat Installation Is Loose

Snugly put the car seats in a vehicle. You should not move a pull more than an inch when you pick up the auto seat at the track of its rim (the region where the lock system or the seat rim fits or passes through the vehicle seat).

Simply put your palm down on the vehicle seat and strain the latch strap or the seat belt when the setup is too loose. Every time your kid takes the car seat, this seat inspection should be done.

Mistake No. 8: Harness Straps in the Wrong Position

You will have to change the position of your harness straps in the kid’s seat, convertible seats, and combo seat as your child develops.

It should be remembered that the harness straps on or under the shoulders of a kid in a rear-facing seat should be placed. The straps should be on or over the shoulders while facing forward.

Mistake No. 9: Chest Clip Positioned Too Low

The chest clip is a small plastic component on the car seat bolt with the major task of maintaining the bolts in the right place. The thorax should be at the axillary level of the kid. A neck injury may happen if it is too high, if it is too low, stomach damage.

Mistake No. 10: Car-Seat Harness Is Too Loose

If the harness of the car seat is too slack, it won’t effectively hold your youngster in a collision. No slackness should occur; be sure the web of the harness fits against the body of the kid without being too close.

If you are unclear if your children’s car seat has been properly fitted, get assistance! Seat controls are free, however, remember to bring the manual of your car seat, the manuals, and the kid or children of your car owner.

The safest place for a car seat

The studies discovered that a rear passenger side was the most popular placement in the car (41% of the parents installed the car seat here). Why so many parents are placing their car seats here, we are not clear. Maybe this is to make access easy and have a look at the infant.

  • The center is secure, we have repeatedly informed new parents at the Clinic.
  • Unless they were able to correctly place the car seat in the middle, or
  • They truly wanted to set up LATCH, but couldn’t put it in the middle or
  • A center location hump, or too small to attach a seat, is available
  • Mom had merely a cesarean and felt she couldn’t lean on putting her kid in a central seat.

Place the infant on the side of the traveler. If you ever have to find parking on the road, we suggest the passenger side, you are on the pavement of the vehicle seat.

No back seat in the front seat before the proactive airbag should ever be installed. Keep youngsters in vehicle-sitting in the rear seat, like in a two-seater motor car, until they are needed in front of them.

Note on LATCH

We commonly suggested to new parents at the clinic that there was no secure center. However, if they didn’t have the vehicle seat right smack in the middle or wanted to configure LATCH, but couldn’t have a cesarean in the middle and the mother felt that she couldn’t move over to place a baby in her center seat. Then they could place the passenger child on the edge if she’d had to park in the road.

The safest place for 2 car seats

If you have two children then what should you do?

Two schools of thought are available:

  • Place the infant in the middle of the back seat as the child is the most susceptible to an accident.
  • Put an elderly, front-facing child in the middle of the sitting, since children are naturally safer in the rear-facing seat, provided that the older child is in front.

We are at no.1 thinking school; we have at the core the most vulnerable, that is the smallest kid. A quick lecture on the dynamics of crashes that influence that decision:

  • Most accidents involve accidents on the front.
  • The rarer but more deadly side-impact collisions will most benefit from being in the middle of the back seat.
  • The fact that the baby’s head, neck, and back are all protected when crashing is safer when the accident is a front impact. It seems reasonable that in a side-impact collision the advantages of sitting in a rear-face seat are less important.
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More Information on the safest place for 2 car seats

Often more variables are included, therefore we suggest consulting a child passenger safety engineer, ideally in person in your vehicle, if any questions arise.

Can’t fit my infant car seat and my forward-facing convertible seat right next to each other?

You would have to utilize the 2 seats outdoors if you can’t fit two seats just next to one another. In terms of crash safety, the newborn does not actually have a preferable side. In crash data, there is practically no distinction between the driver and the back seat.

So, if you ever road park, you may consider about one thing. You could want to place a kid on the passenger’s side, who needs the maximum duration so you’re out on the road for the shortest period. F

or example, a kid must be placed (or climbed into — for those who are independent) and strapped, whereas a child is only taken into the carriage base that is already fitted in the automobile. The baby carrier is definitely a fast door opener, it pops in, closes the door and you’re gone.

Naturally, it is supposed to fit the child carrier in your vehicle behind the driving seat. Yeah, there are too many parameters!

Both my children have been safe in the back seat

The solution goes much just like your car from one to two car seats. Here the problem is frequently whether or not three car seats suit across your car’s back seat. There are several small car seats and Ride protection jackets on the marketplace to assist.

This can often be a problem to discover out which part, ahem car seat, fits near which other part, err car seat and you can still tighten the safety harness in your hand. On a warm summer day, my suggestion doesn’t try this activity.

What if I have a third row?

The center seat would remain to be most remote from accident impacts of any kind. In certain cars, the 3rd-row seat sits above the rear axle, which may theoretically safeguard in the event of a side-effect accident.

Certain rules apply else. Above all, obtain the right installation. One factor that has to be taken into account when placing children in the third row is how quickly they can belt. You can relax and place the smaller children in the middle of the line for older, more free children.

What about my older kids who are not in a car seat anymore?

The passenger seat is more secure for anyone to drive in the car.

Thus all kids have to stay in the car’s rear seat till they drive. No, nothing. You ought to. as a best practice, CPS experts suggest that children remain in the backseat until they are at least 13 years old. Oh, sorry tweens.

FAQ on the safest car seat position

Q: Is the driver side or passenger side safer for car seats?

A: The most popular location for an infant’s car seat is the rear passenger side, to facilitate access and keep a close eye on a newborn.

But the research found that the risk of motor vehicle accidents for children below 3 years of age in the back of the middle of the seat is almost half that for children in either of the other locations

Q: Where should you put your car seat when shopping?

A: Never place your car seat on a shopping cart, large restaurant seat, counter, bed, couch, desk, bench, etc. – as this rise might cause your car seat to fall off.

If you carry your car seat inside the store, place your car seat in the cart’s basket instead than on top of your cart.

Q: What is the most dangerous seat in a car? 

A: The seat behind is safer than the one in front. 25% better than the backrest is the center seat.

Q: Can you have 3 car seats in the back of a car?

A: In a kid car seat, babies under 3 must be. If a third child car seat cannot be found in the back of the car, it will take the kid to travel on the proper children’s car seat in the front seat. Children older than 3 may sit with an adult belt on their backs.


After reading this article, you already know that where should you put your car seat and also 9 mistakes on this topic. Hopefully, this article is very helpful for you. After that, if you have any confusion, you can ask me in the commen5t section and I will try to give you the solution on this topic.

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Brian Polk

Brian is an automotive expert who has 12 years of experience in the industry. He has worked on a variety of cars, from high-end luxury vehicles to budget-friendly options, and has a wealth of knowledge on the subject. He is passionate about automobile and enjoys sharing his knowledge with others, whether they are looking to purchase a new motorized vehicle or simply learn more about the inner workings of these machines. In his free time, Brian enjoys working in his automobile workshop and spending time at the track.

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