Study: Car Seats Save Lives

Child Passenger Safety Week Runs Through Sept. 23

Traffic Safety

Media Resources

DENVER (Sept. 19, 2023) - A new AAA analysis of car crash data indicates that nearly half (48%) of children aged 10 and under who were injured and half (51%) who were killed in car crashes were either using a vehicle seatbelt prematurely or no restraint instead of a car seat. 

Per data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, from 2017-2021 more than 3.9 million children ages 10 and younger were involved in car crashes while riding in a vehicle. 527,000 were injured and 2,789 were killed. This Child Passenger Safety Week, which runs through Sept. 23, Chicco USA and AAA are collaborating to spotlight the importance of effective car seat use, sharing tips and resources for parents to keep their children safe while on the road. 

"AAA's in-depth analysis of crash data has brought to light safety issues that concern us, and we're in a position to help by sharing our expert resources about car seat safety use factors such as proper seat installation, type of seat and mode of use at each stage of child growth," said William Hasse, Vice President of Marketing, Chicco USA.

When used properly, infant seats, boosters, and seat belts will effectively protect young passengers. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, child restraints reduce fatalities by 71% for infants younger than 1 year old and by 54% for children 1 to 4 years old in passenger cars.

"Amid rising traffic fatalities in Colorado, we have a responsibility to look out for one another - especially the most vulnerable among us," said Cassie Tanner with AAA Public Affairs. "Taking the time to make sure child passengers are as safe as can be is simple, straightforward, and always the right thing to do." 

In response to the need for education and awareness, Car Seats Colorado, in collaboration with community partners, is hosting several events for parents and caregivers during National Child Passenger Safety Week:

Children’s Museum – Friday, Sept. 22 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Car Seats Colorado, with support from the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus and DOTI’s Booster and Seatbelt Engagement program (BASE), will have certified car seat technicians available outside the main entrance of the museum to answer questions and demonstrate the basics of car seat fit and installation. The booth will also feature a coloring activity for kids. Families that visit the booth and take a short survey will receive a voucher for buy-one-get-one museum admission and be entered into a raffle to win a free car seat.

Denver Zoo – Saturday, Sept. 23 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Hosted by the Child Passenger Safety Collaborative of Colorado, visitors will receive a free car seat or booster seat (while supplies last) or a free ride on the carousel and train after learning about child passenger safety. The Collaborative will also be offering free car seat checks outside of the zoo’s main entrance.

Colorado Springs SafeKids – Saturday, Sept. 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (appointment required)
SafeKids will be hosting a free car seat check event at the Colorado Springs Fire Station 4 (2280 Southgate Rd., Colorado Springs, CO 80906). Call 719-305-7233 or email to schedule an appointment.

According to AAA's analysis, the latest data from the DOT reflects a need for parents to ensure they are using the correct child restraint system for each phase of growth. 

Tips to Keep Kids Safe:

Don’t skip the booster phase. The data decreased by more than half in car seat use from age 7 to age 8, an age that saw significant injuries reported. Many parents may not know that seat belt fit is more about their child’s height than age (many state laws focus on age only). Based on their size, children upwards of 10 years old may benefit from using a booster seat. Most booster seats accommodate children up to a height of 57 inches.

Children should always use a restraint when riding in vehicles. Shifting from a car seat to a vehicle seatbelt too early isn’t the only issue, as nearly four in ten (38%) of children aged 7-10 killed in a car crash were completely unrestrained and, of the youngest children (aged 0-3), nearly one in four (24%) who were killed were unrestrained. 

Use available resources. Chicco offers the latest car seat guidelines, installation tutorials and caregiver FAQs on ChiccoUSA.comCar Seats Colorado also offers a wealth of educational resources and materials, available in English, Spanish and 15 other languages, to provide valuable information to parents and caregivers. This includes instructional videos and information on how to recycle a used car seat. If you have questions about car seat use or would like to schedule an inspection, click here to find a car seat inspection station near you. Inspections are always free and available across Colorado.

During Child Passenger Safety Week, parents looking for a new car seat or booster seat can take advantage of a special 20% off offer from Chicco. The offer is good on seats such as the OneFit ClearTex® All-in-One that is designed to fit from birth through booster and uses ClearTex® fabric that is inherently fire-resistant with no added chemicals.  

If you are unable to afford a car seat for your child(ren), WeeCycle and SafeKids Colorado both have programs through which families are able to get a free car seat. Visit their websites for more information.