Car accidents remain the leading cause of death for children under the age of 13, and a large number of these cases involve children strapped into car seats. Thankfully, deaths of children in car seats has declined significantly over the years. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of deaths declined from 614 in 2002 to 397 in 2011 (most recent year of available data). A recent article in the New York Times points out that these numbers could be much lower because about 3 out of every 4 car seats – per studies – are not properly installed.
The fact that somewhere around three-quarters of all seats are installed incorrectly means there’s something that is being missed… People figure it’s a car seat, how hard can it be?
-Dr. Benjamin Hoffman, an associate professor at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Ore.
In the article, which we recommend, the experts in the field point out the importance of educating the consumers and regulations that make car seats simpler to use and easier to match up with the specific vehicle. In fact, the NHTSA is working on a new program to assist car manufacturers in helping customers match car seats to that vehicle. The problem, apparently, is that the automakers seldom work with the car seat manufacturers – they simply have no real motivation to do so.
The full NYT article can be accessed by clicking here. We encourage all of our clients, friends, and family members to always read all instructions and correctly install car seats. As is customary, local fire departments or police will usually volunteer their time to assist parents in correctly installing car seats.