One-Quarter of Parents Have Driven Without Buckling Up Kids, Study Says


  • Buckle-Up Study

    Buckle-Up Study

    A new study found that one in four parents have driven without buckling up their kids. | September 16, 2013

Just the Facts:
  • A study released on Monday found that an alarming percentage of parents have driven without buckling up their children, and that affluent, educated and young parents are the worst offenders.
  • Twenty-one percent of parents said it was acceptable to drive with their child unrestrained if they are not driving far.
  • Men were more willing than women to bend the rules, the study said.

WASHINGTON — A study released on Monday found that an alarming percentage of parents have driven without buckling up their children, and that affluent, educated and young parents are the worst offenders.

Twenty-one percent of parents said it was acceptable to drive with their child unrestrained if they are not driving far.

Men were more willing than women to bend the rules, the study said.

Safe Kids Worldwide released "Buckle Up: Every Ride, Every Time," a new study funded as part of a $2-million grant from the General Motors Foundation. The report is based on a national online survey of 1,002 parents and caregivers of children ages 10 and under.

"More affluent parents, parents with higher levels of education and young parents are more likely to make exceptions when it comes to buckling up their kids on every ride," the study said. "The survey asked parents if it was acceptable for a child to ride unrestrained in a vehicle in certain circumstances, including driving a short distance, if the car or booster seat was missing, during overnight travel, as a reward for the child or if they chose to hold the child in their lap.

"The results were staggering."

Researchers note that 60 percent of crashes involving children occur 10 minutes or less from home.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children one to 13 years old in the U.S., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. NHTSA recently launched Parents Central, a guide to keeping kids safe on the move.

"The best way to protect them in the car is to put them in the right seat, at the right time, and use it the right way," according to federal safety regulators.

The study provides recommendations for improving laws around child-passenger safety, including upgrading "weaker" booster seat laws to cover children up to age eight.

Parents and caregivers are urged to "buckle up on every ride, every time."

This is National Child Passenger Safety Week in the U.S.

Edmunds says: This shocking study should serve as a wake-up call to parents everywhere.

Comments

  • piredon piredon Posts:

    "Researchers note that 60 percent of crashes involving children occur 10 minutes or less from home." That's because most driving occurs 10 minutes or less from home. The funny thing about this is cars didn't have seatbelts not so many years ago. Everyone did not spontaneously die as soon as they got in one of those old "death traps". The vast majority lived to become our parents (I'm in my 30s). I'm actually a little happy that Americans are not as universally obsessed with safety as the media would have us believe. Now, I'm certainly not an advocate of leaving your kids unbuckled, but the total obsession with safety and never taking any risks is seriously dangerous to the continued greatness of this country. You read an article like this and you would think American parents should all be locked up for child endangerment. What we feed our children and how we raise them in general probably has a far greater impact on their longevity and well-being than just remembering to buckle them in. For instance, McDonalds feeds millions of American children on a daily basis. And hundreds of thousands of children are basically raised by paid nannies. And a sizeable minority of parents still smoke in this country (gasp!) But it's much harder to be judgmental about those things because we are probably not blameless. And a $2 million study does nothing to solve them. I should probably stop now...

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  • garrym garrym Posts:

    You never know what life will throw you. The grandchildren get buyckled securely every time they ride with us. Not a big deal to get them safely restrained. I have been buckling my seatbelt since the mid-seventies. Everyone in our family used seatbelts growing up. As adults they still buckle up and ensure their children do too. I could not live with myself if a grandchild died unstrained in the event of a crash. Smarten up you young, afflient American parents!

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