Vehicle crashes remain the number one killer of children ages 3-14 in the United States.
Child safety seats, booster seats and seat belts are the best protection.
According to the CDC, placing children in age- and size-appropriate car seats and booster seats reduces serious and fatal injuries by more than half. But most are being used incorrectly in some way, putting children at risk.
via Child Passenger Safety, Child Safety Seat Booster Seat Guidelines.
- “I’m only going to the shopping center.” Actually, this is the best time to wear a safety belt, since 80% of traffic fatalities occur within 25 miles of home and under 40 miles an hour.
- “I won’t be in an accident: I’m a good driver.” Your good driving record will certainly help you avoid accidents. But even if you’re a good driver, a bad driver may still hit you.
- “I’ll just brace myself.” Even if you had the split-second timing to do this, the force of the impact would shatter the arm or leg you used to brace yourself.
- “I’m afraid the belt will trap me in the car.” Statistically, the best place to be during an accident is in your car. If you’re thrown out of the car, you’re 25 times more likely to die. And if you need to get out of the car in a hurry – as in the extremely tiny percent of accidents involving fire or submergence – you can get out a lot faster if you haven’t been knocked unconscious inside your car.
- “They’re uncomfortable.” Actually, modern safety belts can be made so comfortable that you may wonder if they really work. Most of them give when you move – a device locks them in place only when the car stops suddenly. You can put a little bit of slack in most belts simply by pulling on the shoulder strap. Others come with comfort clips, which hold the belt in a slightly slackened position. If the belt wont fit around you, you can get a belt extender at most car dealerships.
- “I don’t need a belt – Ive got an airbag.” Lucky you! An air bag increases the effectiveness’ of a safety belt by 40 percent. But air bags were never meant to be used in place of safety belts, since they dont protect against side impacts at all.
via Seat Belts: Why You Should Use Them.