According to a recent survey conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 91 percent of children under 13 are using car seats, booster seats, and belts.
The survey indicates that more parents are choosing to keep their children in age and size appropriate car seats and booster seats longer, delaying the transition to seat belts. In the 2011 National Survey of the Use of Booster Seats (NSUBS), the number of children ages four to seven in only seat belts dropped seven percent in 2011 to 25 percent, down from 35 percent in 2009.
During the same period, the use of both car seats and booster seats increased proving that parents are following NHTSA recommendations and not graduating children to seat belts too early.
Though the survey showed restraint use for children under 13 reached 91 percent in 2011, it also showed that 25 percent of children four to seven were improperly restrained by seat belts instead of car seats or booster seats.
“We’re on the right road to ensuring that all our smallest passengers are buckled in the right seat for a child’s age and size,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. “But we caution parents and caregivers of being overconfident in choosing the right seat for their children. Children who graduate too soon from their car seats, or are not in car seats at all, are at risk of serious injury.”