The Importance of Proper Car Seat Installation

You wouldn't think about driving your vehicle with a flat tire, would you? Of course not because that could cause damage to your vehicle and is a safety hazard. So why would you transport your children without making sure they were seated in a properly secured child safety seat?

The AAA Traffic Safety department reminds parents to inspect one of the most valuable pieces of safety equipment inside their vehicle – their child's car seat.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), four out of five car safety seats are improperly installed. Government statistics also show that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for the age group 2 – 14 years old. In 2006, there were 1,794 children 14 and younger who were killed and nearly 208,000 injured in car crashes.

Some examples of installation errors include: incorrect recline angle (especially for young infants), the vehicle safety belt is too loose or not locked or the safety belt is not correctly routed through the child seat.

The AAA Traffic Safety department would also like to remind adults traveling with a child by airplane, train or bus to bring along their child's car seat. If the seat is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), it can also be used on the plane. When renting a car, check with your rental agency to see if they provide child safety seats.

For more information on properly installing your child's car seat or to locate a AAA-certified child passenger safety technician in your area, contact your local AAA office. To locate a child safety seat fitting station, click here.