Child passenger safety is really important. The bottom line is, restraint use among children depends on the driver’s seatbelt use. If we practice driving safety and seatbelt use then our children will follow suit. Almost 40% of children riding with drivers not wearing seatbelts were also unrestrained.
In the U.S., motor vehicles are the leading cause of death. According to the Injury Statistics Query & Reporting System, 675 children 12 and under died as occupants in car accidents and nearly 116 thousand were injured. Each state has their own law for child passenger safety but they are all relatively close to each other. Georgia law states that children eight years of age and younger, or 57 inches or shorter, are required to have child restraints.
Car seats for children being used incorrectly is a significantly high number. Anywhere from 72% to 84% of child restraints are used incorrectly. Most commonly using the wrong car seat for the child’s weight and age, loose harness straps, and loose safety belt attachments. Child car seat statistics show that more Black and Hispanic children were not buckled up compared to white children. While these numbers are alarming, it is important that we as drivers understand how to properly purchase and install car restraints.
All in all, it is vital to do what you can to reduce the risk of your child being involved in a car accident. Car seat use reduces the risk for injury in crashes by 71% to 82% for children. Booster seat use reduces the risk for injury by 45% for children four to eight years of age. Knowing the stages of when your child needs a different car seat is equally important.
Use a rear-facing car seat from birth until ages two to four.
Check the car seat manual and also check the labels on the car seat for height and weight limits.
Use a forward-facing car seat at least until the age of five after outgrowing a rear-facing car seat.
Use a booster seat until seat belts fit properly after outgrowing a forward-facing car seat.
Use seat belts on every trip after outgrowing a booster seat.
Always set a good example and wear your seat belt every car ride.
If you, or someone you know have been involved in an auto accident, call Your Accident Your Money at (888) 766-6398.