Safety is our top priority for everyone on our roadways, and today we’re calling on parents and caregivers to do everything they can to protect our most vulnerable passengers. Data from DOT's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show an estimated 8,959 lives were saved by child safety seats from 1975 to 2008.
But we can do better. According to a NHTSA study, 3 out of 4 kids are not as secure in the car as they should be because their car seats are not sized properly or used correctly.
That's why NHTSA is launching a new campaign to help parents and caregivers make sure they've got the safety seat that best fits their child. From rear-facing to forward-facing to booster to seat belt, making sure children are secured in a properly installed safety restraint is a critical step in protecting them from harm.
“The Right Seat” campaign explains that, “Parents who really know it all, know for sure their child is in the right car seat.”
The new print ads, billboards, and public service announcements are designed to make sure we don't take anything for granted when it comes to protecting young passengers. Are you sure your child is really ready to move up to the next type of seat? Are you sure your child's seat is securely installed? Are you sure your is tall enough to be safely restrained in an adult seat belt?
The new campaign refocuses our attention on important safety questions like these. But parents, grandparents, and caregivers needn't worry because, for every question the new campaign raises, NHTSA's new Parents Central website has answers.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 1 through 12 years old. From 2006 to 2010, 4,028 children aged 12 and younger were killed in crashes involving passenger vehicles. Another estimated 660,000 children were injured in crashes—that's more than the entire population of Boston, Massachusetts.
There's a lot riding on car seat safety. In 2010, on average, almost 2 children were killed and 325 injured in traffic crashes each day. But, according to the Centers for Disease Control, if properly sized safety seats were used--and installed correctly--we could cut the fatality rate by nearly half.
When parents understand the differences in child safety seats, make sure they choose the right seat for their child, and properly secure them every time they get behind the wheel, then we're on the road toward greater safety. The new NHTSA campaign will help get us there.
If you have questions about child passenger safety, don't miss NHTSA's Twitter Q&A, beginning today at 2 p.m. (EDT). Tweet your questions using the #therightseat hashtag and look for answers from @childseatsafety.