Bloomington, IL,
06:43 AM

A fifth of U.S. parents skip life-saving child safety seats

State Farm® survey shows significant room for improvement when it comes to keeping children safe.

Release Highlights:

  • Nearly a fifth of all parents surveyed admitted that they did not use a child safety seat in the vehicle, putting their children’s lives at risk.
  • State Farm is celebrating its 100th anniversary and its long-standing commitment to safety.
  • It is the 25th anniversary of the landmark child passenger safety research partnership between State Farm and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia®.

Safety restraints are critically important for a child’s safety. Yet, as the child grows, car seat safety may take a back seat. The survey revealed that one in four children who used a child safety seat were not using it every time they rode in a vehicle.

The most listed reasons why parents did not use a child safety seat on every ride were:

  • 34% - was a short trip
  • 33% - not enough room for the child seat/booster
  • 29% - the child was upset and did not want to use it

When parents use child safety seats, misuse is a widespread issue. According to the survey, 58% of parents reported at least one type of seat misuse, such as:

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children residing in the U.S. When children are properly restrained in a child safety seat, booster seat or safety belt, as appropriate for their age and size, their chance of being killed or seriously injured in a car crash is greatly reduced. When used properly, child safety seats reduce fatal injury by 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers in passenger cars.

The public seems to understand the severity of this issue according to a new poll by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety that shows 92% are concerned with the lack of seat belt use or safety seats for child passengers, and 65% said they are extremely or very concerned. There seems to be a disconnect between truly acknowledging the importance of child safety seat and every day, “in real-life” use. Being a parent is hard. But all it takes is one time, one crash.


Car seat safety has come a long way

In 1997, the number one killer of children up to four years of age was motor vehicle crashes. In 2022, this is no longer the case. Child occupant (ages zero to four) deaths have been reduced by 15 percent. Motor vehicle crashes are still a leading cause, but no longer the leading cause.

A major reason for the improvement? Twenty-five years ago, State Farm joined forces with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the University of Pennsylvania to create Partners for Child Passenger Safety (PCPS) .

State Farm and CHOP identified more than 600,000 crashes involving 875,000 children under age 16. It was the largest source of data ever collected on children involved in motor vehicles crashes.

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