In a few weeks my oldest child will be driving. Next year, my youngest will be. Just thinking about it terrifies me, not because I don’t trust my children to be safe and conscientious drivers, but I have SEEN all the other drivers out there. And that is what scares me.
I do what I can do to keep them safe, like making sure they are driving he safest vehicle we can afford. (Hello! They’re getting the OLD Subaru, and IM getting a new one!) but also making sure they know to always buckle up, in every car they are in, no matter who is driving. It’s been that way since they have been infants and I was the one buckling them up.
Every 33 seconds a child under 13 is involved in a car crash in the United States. For younger children, car seats can dramatically reduce the risk of fatality or injury – but over half of car seats are either installed or used incorrectly. For older children, buckling up is critical. A full 50% of children age 8-14 who were killed in car crashes from 2011-2015 were not restrained.
That’s why we want parents and caregivers to know about the importance of making sure their child is safely restrained—whether that’s selecting the right car seat for their child’s age and size, or making sure that older kids (8-14) always buckle their seat belts and sit in the backseat.
As parents, we all want to do the right thing to keep our children safe and sound. This spring, the Ad Council and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are unveiling new PSAs to address these important issues. First, is the up to date car seat safety information like the tips found in the fun new video series “The Wide World of Car Seats.”
The right car seat can make all the difference in a motor vehicle crash. And car crashes are a leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old. But despite their best intentions, many parents may not realize their child isn’t in the right seat. For example, many parents move their children to the next restraint type (car seat, booster seat, seat belt) too soon. To make sure you have the right seat for your child, visit SaferCar.gov/TheRightSeat.
And just when you think you’ve got this parenting thing down, your child becomes a “tween” and you enter a whole new world. To help with travel safety, the Ad Council and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are unveiling new PSAs featuring characters from Fox’s upcoming summer road trip adventure Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul. The PSAs remind parents and caregivers that even if kids argue and plead, parents should stand firm and always insist that their kids buckle up and sit in the back seat (the safest place for kids under the age of 13).
I wish I had been able to share the Diary of A Wimpy Kid video about car seat safety back when I was having arguments with my boy about riding in the front seat!
Both of my teens were TALL as youngsters, even now, they are 6’1 and 6’2, and I will admit to letting my daughter sit in the front seat sooner than I should have. However, much to her younger brothers dismay, I realized than even though her was tall, it was still safer for him to sit in the back seat. Did he fight me on it? Of course he did. I heard many times, “IT’S NOT FAIR! YOU LET HER SIT IN THE FRONT SEAT WHEN SHE WAS 12!!” Of course, I answer with the standard, ” Life isn’t fair, and I know better now”. That’s the truth, I DO know better now, and although we have ALWAYS been vigilant about seat belts, I learned a lot about car seats and safety. They way I see it, now matter HOW old they are, if I can help them be safer, than its my job to do it!
Per data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated 69,000 tweens are injured every year in car crashes and 61% of 14-year-old children killed in 2015 car crashes were unrestrained at the time of the crash. Even though life as a parent is full of compromises, seat belt safety should never be up for negotiation. That’s why the new PSAs encourage us to: “Never give up until they buckle up!”
For more information or if you need more tips to convince your tween to buckle up, visit SaferCar.gov/KidsBuckleUp. If you have a great tip, join the conversion on social media using: #KidsBuckleUp.