New research has come out that highlights the common deficiencies present in the way parents are buckling their children into car seats. These shortcomings are unfortunate, as all it takes is one seemingly minor slip-up to undermine the viability of the seat in its entirety.
The research was conducted by the Wayne State University Transportation Research Group, which carried out observations on car seat usage among 300 kids throughout various counties in Michigan. The findings are such that they may help us to improve safety at the national level as well.
The first problem highlighted is the fact that only 93.6% of children observed were placed in a seat, and for booster seats, the disconnect is even more dramatic, with only 42.4% of children aged four to seven being placed in the necessary booster seat. In those boosters that were being used, the biggest issue tended to be improper positioning of the shoulder belt, while faulty reclining was more apparent in rear-facing car seats.
There were also certain revelations surrounding who was most likely to succumb to improper usage procedures. Pickup trucks tended to see more instances of the child not being in the right type of seat, and drivers who didn’t wear their own seatbelt were also less inclined to restrain their children appropriately. Younger drivers were shown to be more likely to buckle their kids up correctly, as were female drivers.