2011 Child Passenger Protection
Motor vehicle crashes represent the leading cause of death for children ages 3 through 14, claiming the lives of 1,314 children ages 14 and younger in 2009. Sadly, 46 percent of those killed were completely unrestrained. Many of these children might have been saved had they been properly seated in a child safety seat or buckled up in the rear of the car. Child safety seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and by 54 percent for toddlers in passenger cars. In fact, in 2009, among children under age 5 in passenger vehicles, an estimated 309 lives were saved by restraint use. To help combat child injuries and deaths, all 50 States, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia have enacted some form of child restraint legislation. Although these laws are an excellent way of keeping children safe in vehicles, some of them do not offer comprehensive coverage for all children in all situations. For example, in some states child passenger restraint laws are secondary, meaning the police may only cite a driver for passenger restraint violation if there was an additional reason for the stop. Many states do not require children to be restrained in rear seats of the vehicle.
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View the entire 2011 Child Passsenger Protection Transportation Review