Last week was Child Passenger Safety Week. SafeKids.org in cooperation with the General Motors Foundation released a report entitled “Buckle Up: Every Ride Every Time” designed to help better protect our children when traveling in cars. The report hits home on some disturbing findings.
- Car crashes are the number one cause of death to children in the United States.
- One third of the children killed were not buckled up.
- One out of four parents say that they have taken a car ride with their child with the child unrestrained.
- One in three of affluent families with incomes higher than $100,000 believe it is acceptable to leave their child unrestrained if traveling a short distance. This compares to fifteen percent of parents making less than $35,000. This belief persists even though statistically sixty percent of automobile accidents involving children occur within ten minutes of home.
- Almost a quarter of younger parents between the ages of 18 and 29 believe it is acceptable to ride with a child unrestrained when traveling overnight even though overnight is the time period when children are most likely to be injured in a car crash.
- Parents with graduate degrees are twice as likely as high school educated parents (20% to 10%) to think it is acceptable for drive without buckling up their children – particularly when they are in a rush.
SafeKids.org is trying to reduce the number of children injured or killed when not buckled up by educating parents on how to regularly and properly use safety restraints when traveling with their children. Their report also mentions some important policy changes we can take to advance this cause, including passing child safety laws in all fifty states, upgrading weaker booster seat laws, renewing a commitment to enforcement and creating policies for technology and design.
The report and SafeKids’s recommendations can be found at this link: http://issuu.com/safekids/docs/cps_study_2013