Senior Specialist, Public and Government Affairs, VA
C: (804) 543-7190
RICHMOND, VA (Monday, September 21, 2020) – Every day in America, too many children ride in car seats that have been installed incorrectly, or are riding in the wrong car seats for their ages and sizes. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), child restraint systems are often used incorrectly. An estimated 46% of car seats and booster seats (59% of car seats and 20% of booster seats) are misused in a way that could reduce their effectiveness. Even worse, some children ride while completely unbuckled.
During National Child Passenger Safety Week, September 20-26, AAA Mid-Atlantic urges parents to review Virginia’s car seat law, be sure children are in the proper child seat or booster for their age and size, avoid common mistakes, and seek expert assistance with car seat installation.
“Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children,” said Martha Meade, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Using car seats that are age- and size-appropriate is the best way to keep your children safe.”
Child Passenger Safety Statistics
Source: National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA)
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) car seat recommendations advises parents to keep their children's car seats in the rear-facing position for as long as possible. Previously, the AAP recommended rear-facing car seats up until the age of two.
According to Virginia’s DMV, 5,337 children under the age of 8 were involved in vehicle crashes between 2016 and 2019. Forty-six of those children died from their injuries. Child seats save lives. According to the CDC, buckling a child into an age and size appropriate car seat reduces the risk for injury in a crash by 71-82% when compared with seat belt use alone.
As of July first of last year, Virginia law requires children to remain rear-facing until the age of 2 or until they reach the minimum requirement for a forward facing child safety seat. Violation of the law is punishable by a $50 fine for a first offense. Virginia requires all children up to 8 years-old to be properly secured in a child safety seat or booster seat. Children between 8 and 18 must belted in correctly using a vehicle safety belt.
“Virginia’s child safety seat law, that was suggested and supported by AAA, eliminated the confusion and uncertainty over when is the right time to switch a child to be forward facing” said Meade “Keeping them rear facing for as long as possible gives little ones the best chance of surviving a serious crash.”
Seven Common Car Seat Mistakes
Remember to register your car seat or booster seat with the seat manufacturer so you can be notified in the event of a recall. Parents and caregivers can view more information on car seat safety and locate a certified technician at nhtsa.gov/carseat. To find a Safety Seat Check Events or a Safety Seat Check Station near you, check out this list from the Virginia Department of Health.
VA Mailing Address:
9210 Arboretum Pkwy, Ste 290
Richmond, VA 23236
AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 60 million members nationwide and more than one million members in Virginia. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android.
For more information, visit www.AAA.com.
Who's in the Driver's Seat? The Transformation of Transportation
On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, AAA and TEDx Wilmington held the first TEDx Salon dedicated to ideas worth spreading in transportation.
This event had:
This TEDx WilmingtonSalon was organized in partnership with AAA
Go to Other AAA Clubs
This site serves residents of the AAA Club Alliance service area which includes Greater Hartford, CT Area, Cincinnati Tri-State Area, Miami County, OH, Greater Dayton, OH Area, Northwest Ohio, AAA Blue Grass & Bluefield Regions, Southern West Virginia, Kansas, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Delaware, Maryland, Washington DC, and parts of Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Write Us: AAA Club Alliance, One River Place, Wilmington, DE 19801