DOT Car Seat Ratings: We Viz the Best Models

on January 26, 2010

Car seats are confusing! With the most recent DOT/NHTSA car seat ease of use data posted on, we created this viz to help parents choose a car seat that is safe... and that they can actually operate. Browse through the seat types and click on a seat for details.

Choosing a car seat can be nerve-racking and befuddling... likewise for using one. The default view shows every seat in the database; as you can see, The First Years offerings seem to be leading the pack in ease of use.

Visually, this graphic is uncomplicated. We used stars, a symbol mentally associated with car safety, to enable quick browsing and consumer decision making. When making a viz that answers a simple question (which car seat is the easiest to use and why?), try to make it simple and intuitive by avoiding gimmicks and clutter.