According to a study by Safe Kids Worldwide, car crashes are a leading cause of death for children in the United States. However, 1 in 4 parents confess that they fail to properly restrain their kids while driving. In 2011, 33% of the kids who died in a car crash were unrestrained, which is staggering considering that those deaths could have been preventable. As adults we abide by the “Click it, or Ticket” laws, so why then don’t we adhere to the “buckle up, every time, on every ride” rule for our kids? The study’s findings are astounding:
– 1 in 3 affluent parents with a household income of $100,000 or greater believe it is acceptable to leave their children unrestrained for short distances. This poses great danger to kids, since 60% of accidents involving kids occur 10 minutes or less from home.
– Nearly 23% of parents between 18 and 29 are okay letting their kids travel unrestrained when traveling overnight. Yet, traveling unrestrained at night makes them more vulnerable to be injured in a crash.
– Parents with graduate degrees are twice as likely to let kids go unrestrained because they are in a hurry. When drivers are preoccupied by schedules or rushing to get to their destination on time, they are less likely to be fully attentive while driving, putting them at risk for an accident.
Parents’ attitudes on buckling up send powerful messages to kids. Parents need to draw a hard line when it comes to buckling up, just like they would for any other dangerous activity, such as playing with fire or jumping off bridges. As our streets and highways become more congested with traffic, it is vital that we require kids to be buckled up in age-appropriate safety seats when traveling.