AAA study finds not enough children are riding in car seats

Massachusetts

National Child Passenger Safety Week

WESTWOOD, Mass. (WWLP) – A recent study by AAA found that 1 in 10 children under age 2 in Massachusetts are not riding in car seats.

According to a news release sent to 22News from AAA Northeast, there is overwhelming evidence that child safety seats save lives. The study by AAA found that 10% of children in the Commonwealth under the age of 2 are not riding in car seat. This puts these children at risk for of serious injury and potentially death according to a recent AAA analysis of MassDOT IMPACT crash data.

AAA Northeast is reminding parents of young children to ensure they are using the right car seat. According to the major automotive organization, car crashes are a leading cause of death for children. From 2016 to 2020 in Massachusetts, nearly 5,900 children under age 8 were injured in crashes, with 95 of them suffering serious injuries or dying. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of 2 children under 13 in the United States were killed and 375 were injured daily on the road in 2019.

“No parent intentionally puts their child in harm’s way, but car seat misuse can be the difference between life and death,” said Mark Schieldrop, Public Affairs Specialist for AAA Northeast. “Using age-appropriate car seats and installing them correctly is the best way to prevent needless child death on the roadway.”

Sturbridge is holding a car seat safety event on Thursday, September 23 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Sturbridge Coffeehouse located at 407 Main Street. To find a car seat inspection site near you visit Mass.gov.

The most common car seat installation mistakes include:

  • Car seats that are too loose when secured in a vehicle.
  • Failure to use the car seat’s tether strap along with lower latches or a seat belt in forward-facing seats.
  • Not tightening harness straps enough when securing the child in the seat.
  • Switching from rear-facing to forward-facing seats based on a child’s age instead of weight.

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