Should car seat go behind driver or passenger?

Baby getting buckled in car seat

Wherever you can get the best install, is where the car seat should be installed. That being said, there are factors to consider when trying to decide where to install your car seat including: the specific car seat, the driver and passenger’s height, your child’s age and size, the number of car seats you need to install, and your personal preference.

Here are some considerations:

  1. Safety: The most critical factor is to ensure the car seat is installed correctly and securely. Follow the manufacturer's instructions and the car's owner's manual for guidance. Both rear-facing and forward-facing car seats can be safely installed behind the driver or passenger seat.
  2. Convenience: Placing the car seat behind the passenger seat might make it easier for the driver to interact with the child, especially if they need to check on or soothe the child during the journey. However, some parents prefer placing the car seat behind the driver so that they can easily load them in and out of the car without having to go to the other side.
  3. Multiple Car Seats: If you have more than one car seat to install, consider the layout of your vehicle. Placing car seats on opposite sides (behind both the driver and passenger seats) can be a practical solution, as it provides easier access to both seats.
  4. Middle Seat: The middle seat in the back row is often considered the safest spot for car seats, as it can offer additional protection in case of a side-impact collision. However, not all vehicles have a suitable setup for car seat installation in the middle.
  5. Legroom: Consider the comfort and legroom of the front-seat passengers, especially if you have tall individuals riding in the front. Placing the car seat behind the seat with more legroom can prevent discomfort. Remember most car seats do not allow the vehicle seat and car seat to touch at all. 

Always follow the car seat manual for car seat installation, and choose the position that works best for your specific situation!

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