Volvo Weighs in on Child Car Seats

I was excited to see that an automobile manufacturer had weighed in on car seats and child safety. One facet of the argument we make against the efficacy of child car seats is that government standards for car seats cut the automakers out of the safety loop to some degree, creating some misaligned incentives between regulators, automakers, and car-seat manufacturers.

I Fought the Law and the Law Won: The Contest, Answered

In a post yesterday, I posed the following riddle:

Yesterday, and for much of the past year, I regularly did something that was perfectly legal.

Starting today, if I do the same thing, I am breaking a New York State law.

What is it that I’m doing?

What the Secretary of Transportation Has to Say About My Car Seat Research

On his blog, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood dismisses my research (see here and here) on car seats.

My favorite quote from the secretary:

“Now, if you want to slice up the data to be provocative, have at it. As a grandfather and as secretary of an agency whose number one mission is safety, I don't have that luxury.”

Reading the Secretary's blog post, it strikes me just how differently he is reacting to a challenge than Arne Duncan (now the Secretary of Education) did when I first told him about my work on teacher cheating when Duncan was in charge of the Chicago Public Schools.

I Cannot Recall Consumer Reports Having to Recall their Own Recall

A while back Dubner blogged about how Consumer Reports had demanded a recall of a number of rear-facing child seats because they performed so poorly in their tests. Now Consumer Reports has a recall of their own. Apparently they may have done some of the tests wrong. We will have to wait and see what […]

Consumer Reports Retracts Its Damning Car-Seat Study

We blogged here recently about Connsumer Reports study declaring that most infant car seats failed miserably in side-impact crash tests. Now comes word that Consumer Reports is retracting the study, an acknowledgment that the study’s methodology was flawed. According to this MSNBC report, the study was meant to test the seats in 38-mph crashes, whereas […]

We Are Not the Only Ones Who Think Child Car Seats Don’t Work Well

There is a very disturbing report in the new Consumer Reports about child car seats. Here’s an excerpt: You’d think that in a car crash, infants in their cozy car seats would be the most protected passengers of all. But you’d be wrong, our tests reveal. Cars and car seats can’t be sold unless they […]

We’re Not the Only Ones Who Give Car Seats a Bad Name

As many readers of this blog may recall, we have written about child car seats and how they seemingly provide no safety advantage over seat belts for children 2 and older. This aroused the ire of many safety officials and researchers, who felt we were giving car seats an unduly bad name. Well, it seems […]

Levitt replies to the critical letter published in NY Times today

In the “Letters” section of today’s New York Times Sunday magazine, a letter by two doctors at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia criticizes our piece on car seats vs seat belts: As pediatricians, scientists and leaders of the world’s largest study on children in crashes, we think that overinterpretation of findings from a single source […]

If You Were Watching the Today Show, You Saw Dubner Talking About Car Seats vs. Seat Belts (But Only if You Were in the Right Time Zone)

Dubner went solo on the Today Show this morning. Levitt, who still can’t quite get his head around flying halfway across the country to do a four minute interview, was off at a water park in Wisconsin with his wife and kids, which luckily was a good enough excuse to miss the interview. If you […]

Freakonomics in the Times Magazine: The Seat-Belt Solution

The July 10, 2005, Freakonomics column, "The Seat-Belt Solution: How Much Good Do Car Seats Do?" is about the efficacy of child car seats versus plain old seat belts. This blog post supplies additional research material.