A National Campaign to remind all drivers that motor vehicle crashes are the number one killer of children began on September 14, 2014. Although the campaign only runs through September 20th, the message is one that is relevant for the entire year. During a five year period from 2008 to 2012, more than 3,390 children were killed in motor vehicle crashes and an estimated 613,000 children were injured nationally. According to the US Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and their crash data, nearly 2 children were killed and 332 were injured every day while riding in a motor vehicle in 2012. Of those crashes, over 1/3 or 37% were not in a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt. Since on average a child will be involved in a motor vehicle crash every 34 seconds, why take the risk of not putting your child in the proper safety equipment? The reminder that we should all “Buckle Up Every Trip Every Time” should apply to all drivers and passengers within a motor vehicle, especially those who rely on others for safety.

The National Child Passenger Safety Week promotes the message that like seat belts, car seats do save lives. But using them correctly is a major contributor in keeping your child safe. In 2012, among children under the age of 5 riding in a motor vehicle, an estimate of 284 lives were saved by child restraints. An additional 58 children could have been saved if car seat use was 100%. That is 58 families who would not need to endure the pain of losing a child. There are laws in all 50 states that protect children by mandating the use of child restraints such as a car seat, booster seat, and seat belts.

All drivers who carry younger passengers can give them a 71% chance of survival if involved in a crash by simply having them in a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt. By following the instructions for proper installation and use, you can give your child the gift of safety every time they ride in a motor vehicle. To learn more about Child Passenger Safety Week, the importance of seat belts, and other safety tips, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website at www.nhtsa.gov .

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