AAA: 3 in 4 Kids Not Properly Secured in Car Seats [AUDIO]
"Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death for children over the age of 6 months, but when we look at kids in car seats, three out of four of them are in their car seat improperly installed or improperly used," said Cathleen Lewis, regional director of public affairs and government relations for AAA.
On June 12, the state Assembly Women and Children Committee approved a bill that would require children younger than 2 years old, weighing less than 30 pounds, to be facing the rear of the vehicle and secured by a five-point harness seat. Children between 2 and 4 years old and weighing between 30 and 40 pounds must also be in a five-point harness seat, but parents can decide which way to face the kids. Kids between 4 and 8 years old who are less than 57 inches in height must be secured in a five-point harness seat.
"It's not that parents are bad intentioned for the most part," Lewis said. "A lot of times they think they're making things safer and they're really not. Lots of parents think, 'Well, if I use the seat belt and I use the latch system it's going to be safer that way,' -- well, it's not crash tested that way."
AAA supports the Assembly bill and also backs legislation stalled in the state Senate that would provide immunity to all certified car seat technicians when installing car seats. Lewis said most technicians are volunteers who are working to keep kids safe and they shouldn't have to worry about being sued if they install the seats in good faith.
Parents can go to www.aaa.com to find a location where they can have their child safety seat inspected or installed.