According to Kentucky State Police, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for children ages four to 14. A major contributing factor is failure for parents to use proper safety restraints and/or to properly secure their children in their car seats.
To cut down on the number of child car accident fatalities, KSP has implemented a task force, equipped with individuals who are trained to identify improper restraining techniques and educate parents on what they can do to keep their little ones safe. What the department has noticed since implementing the task force is that most infants and toddlers ride in the correct safety seat, but less than 10 percent of children who should be in boosters are not. This goes against the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recommendations that children who have outgrown their safety seats should sit in booster seats until they are eight years of age or 4’9″ tall, whichever comes first.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet provides additional statistics and recommendations. According to the website, approximately 90 percent of child safety seats are incorrectly installed in the United States. When incorrectly installed, car seats are only 29 percent effective in reducing fatalities and 33 percent effective in reducing the need for hospitalization, compared with 71 and 67 percent respectively for those in properly installed car seats.
Per the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, children younger than eight years of age and less than 57 inches tall should sit in a booster seat. When parents fail to strap their children in properly and in the proper safety seats, the state may issue a $30 citation.