Car seatbelts used unsafely according to study
Many drivers are using child safety seats improperly, according to a study released by New Safe Kids USA on September, 15, 2011. Data that came from 79,000 child-safety-seat inspections showed that that less than a third of people use the important top tether that hooks the child seat to the vehicle and when these top tethers are used, only 59 percent are being used correctly.
The study shared that even though parents are attempting to educate themselves on proper seatbelt use, and that they are getting better in the proper use of child safety seats, there is room for improvement. This study has been drawing attention to a very important time for safety, and that is National Child Passenger Safety Week, which begins on September, 18, 2011. Safe Kids USA will host more than 400 car-seat checkup events during National Child Passenger Safety Week and those interested can visit www.safekids.org for more information.
Safety belt use laws are becoming more and more strict, according to Highway Safety Research and Communications, The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute. As of September, 2011, mandatory safety belt laws in all states except New Hampshire, have been put into place. In some states, these laws cover front-seat occupants only; however seat belt laws in 26 states and the District of Columbia cover all rear-seat passengers as well.
Thirty-two states and the District of Columbia have seat-belt laws that allow police to stop cars and fine the drivers and/or passengers for not wearing seatbelts. In addition, if a car is stopped for another violation and occupants are not wearing seatbelts, they can get cited for that as well as the original violation.
Learning how to properly use a seat belt is not difficult and can greatly increases your chances of surviving a motor vehicle collision if one should occur. First of all, only one person should be in a seatbelt and no double up should ever occur.
A typical seat belt consists of a lap and shoulder belt which should be worn closely against the body, over the shoulder and across the chest, but never under the arm. The lap belt should be firm against the body and low across the hips. A seat belt should never be worn twisted, as the full width of the belt is required for proper safety.
Children 16-years-old are the responsibility of the driver to make sure the seatbelt is worn and worn correctly or that younger children are properly in child car seats or booster seats. Babies and smaller children must travel in the appropriate child car seats or booster seats in the back seat of the car.
The most effective way for a child to sit in a car seat is with legs bent comfortably over the seat and with his or her back fully against the back of the vehicle seat. The lap belt must cross over the hips (not the stomach) and the shoulder belt must cross between the shoulder and the neck. For drivers who do not ensure the proper safety precautions for toddlers in car seats, the charges and fines can be large.