Car Seats and Safety

It is common knowledge that children must be seated in a car seat or a booster seat for safety reasons. However, parents are now being asked to read and understand legislation after it is revealed that there are some gaps in knowledge about what is required when it comes to car seats.

Brake are a road safety campaign group and they have found that even though parents know their children must be sat in a car seat of some kind only 26% actually knew the laws. According to the survey only 16% said they would be sitting their child in a car seat until they were 150cm tall. Although this does sound alarming, the average age of a child who is this tall is 12 which could mean that by then the child would have an opinion on sitting in a car seat on the way to secondary school!

Having said this though, there are some parents that were compromising the safety of the child seats by buying ones that did not fit their vehicles properly with 26% of those asked stated this.
For the next three months around the country there are 200 nurseries, pre-schools and children’s centres that are running campaigns on safety and using car seats as well as raising even more awareness about slowing down when driving especially around schools and nurseries.

Julie Townsend is the deputy chief executive at Brake and she has said, “Every year, more than 700 young children are killed or seriously injured on our roads.

“These sudden and violent events end lives that have barely begun, and devastate whole families and communities who struggle to come the terms with such senseless harm being inflicted on a young child. They are not accidents we must learn to live with – every child death and serious injury on roads is preventable.”

She added, “It’s vital that parents, carers and of course the wider driving public understand how best to protect children on roads, and worrying to find common misunderstanding about child car seats.
“We recommend parents always use a correctly fitted suitable child or booster seat until the child is 150cm tall.”

The report also revealed that around 47% of parents do not take the same safety measures when travelling in another person’s car or a taxi. Against advice by experts there are also around 27% of parents who have used second hand car seats. Although this is not advised, money is tight for families at the moment so having some form of car seat is better than none at all.
The purpose of the car seat is to ensure the child is secured well enough that if there was an accident they will not be thrown from their chair into the one in front or worse through the windscreen.

Although Brake is advising that children remain in car seats until they are 150cm tall the legal requirement is 135cm tall or 12 years old. You do need to make sure, after ensuring that you have followed all safety recommendations for your family you also protect your vehicle with a motor insurance policy.

The importance of this issue is being reflected by York council who are making sure that all school buses are fitted with seatbelts. On buses it is not a legal requirement for them to come with belts therefore many don’t. However parents did raise concerns about this and now every school bus in York will be fitted with belts in time for the new school year.
Mark Ellis is the head of school services for City of York Council and he has said, “We are working in partnership with the bus companies and with schools to educate on road safety and the bus driver will out that message out before every journey.

In other news the new Tesla has been revealed as the safest car in the world. The Tesla Model S is an electric luxury car that rivals the Audi A8, Maserati Quattroporte and the Mercedes Benz S class. It has recently been given a rating of 5.4 starts in safety which is astonishing as usually the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration doesn’t hand out ratings about 5 stars. In fact the Tesla S is so safe it even broke one of the safety testing machines! Not only is it a very safe vehicle, it is also electric which is great for the environment and the wallet, although buying this vehicle will set you back around £90,000. It will be available for delivery here in the UK during spring of next year.

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