Safe Kids Columbus Encouraging Parents to Practice Safe Driving
And Ensure Their Children are Strapped in Properly in their Car or Booster Seat
With nearly 200 million drivers on U.S. roadways, chances are high that most American drivers will experience car crashes during their lifetimes. While the majority of the nearly 6.5 million car crashes a year are non-fatal, even minor fender benders can have a significant impact on children, particularly those who are unrestrained. In a push to increase car seat and seat belt use, Safe Kids Columbus urges parents and caregivers to model safe driving habits, including buckling up – every person, every ride, every time.
Children learn by example: they see whether parents and caregivers are buckling up, texting while driving or speeding. By about two years of age, as children move from rear-facing to forward-facing car seats, they begin observing and learning how to behave in and around cars. If using a seat belt is not a priority for the parent, it’s likely not going to be priority for the child. To the point, in 2017, when drivers involved in fatal crashes were unrestrained, 7 of 10 children in those crashes were also unrestrained (NHTSA). Thirty-seven percent (37%) of children who died in crashes were not using any restraint, not even the car’s free seat belt.
For those who want more information on child passenger safety, Safe Kids Columbus recommends the Ultimate Car Seat Guide to help families learn about properly using a car seat. The Ultimate Car Seat Guide, a website available in English and Spanish that makes car seat buying, installing, fitting and changing from one seat to another easier for parents and caregivers to understand. The Guide, developed with support from Chevrolet, also offers best practices and expert advice covering all stages of a child’s development, from the first car seat until the child is ready for the seat belt alone.
If you want to see if you qualify for a car seat check, visit http://www.SafeKidsColumbusGa.org or call 706-321-6720.