Posts Tagged ‘Child Passenger Safety’

Erin SteppMajority of car seat installation experts encounter weight-related errors

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 25, 2014) – A final rulemaking from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), announced this week, revises weight-limit labeling for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH)-installed car seats to include both the weight of the child and the car seat itself, unlike current guidance which only accounts for the child’s weight. Caregivers, unaware of weight limit restrictions, may be unknowingly exceeding weight limits by neglecting to factor in their child’s weight along with the increasingly-heavy car seat. A recent AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety survey of Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPSTs), those certified to check and educate parents on the installation of car seats, found that 85 percent of CPSTs have encountered LATCH weight limits that exceed recommendations, and nearly one in five report seeing this often.

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“In the event of a crash, exceeded weight limits may cause the lower anchors and tether to perform improperly, leaving children vulnerable to injury or death,” warned AAA’s Director of Traffic Safety Research & Advocacy Jake Nelson.  “Clear labeling is a step in the right direction, but standardization of equipment and proper education of caregivers remain the priority.”

The primary purpose of LATCH, required as of 2002, was to increase the likelihood that caregivers could achieve a correct car seat installation more often than when using the seat belt.  However, according to the AAA Foundation’s survey, more than half of CPSTs report caregivers are less likely to install a child seat correctly using LATCH.

Additional survey highlights include:

  • 80.5 percent of CPSTs report that LATCH installation errors are not obvious to caregivers.
  • Nearly one-third (29.7 percent) of CPSTs feel LATCH is more complicated than it needs to be.
  • More than half (54.6 percent) of CPSTs believe LATCH needs to be improved.

In addition to the CPST survey, and to help shape federal regulations, the AAA Foundation project included an expert panel and human factors analyses of the LATCH system. The panel rated various LATCH usability issues based on the frequency that the mistakes occur and the severity of the injury potential.

RATING SEVERITY  

RATING

FREQUENCY

1

Negligible: Less than minor injury to the child.

1

Improbable

2

Marginal: Minor injury to the child, including minor abrasions and contusions.

2

Occasional

3

Critical: Severe injury, including broken bones, spinal damage, head injuries, internal organ damage, and/or loss of life.  

3

Frequent

 

Examples of frequent mistakes with marginal-to-critical  consequences:

  • Confusion/misinterpretation of weight limit; not factoring in weight of both car seat and child.
    • Consequence:  Lower anchors, connectors and tether may not adequately restrain the car seat and child during a collision.
    • AAA Recommendation:  At a minimum, set the lower anchor weight limit to 65 pounds for the combined weight of the child and the car seat; require standardization and clear labeling of car seat weights and limits.
  • Using LATCH in the center position of the rear seat by using inner bars of outboard lower anchors when not specified as an option by vehicle manufacturer.
    • Consequence: Lower anchors and connectors may not adequately restrain the car seat and child during a collision.
    • AAA Recommendation: Make lower anchors available in all preferred seating positions, including the rear center seat – generally the safest seating position.
  • Not securing or stowing the tether when a convertible seat is used in a rear-facing position.
    • Consequence: In a collision, the loose tether strap/hook may swing freely, injuring the child or other passengers (e.g., projectile hazard).
    • AAA Recommendation:  Manuals should emphasize need to store the tether and indicate where it should be stored.

The full research report and white paper were provided to NHTSA in December 2013.

Established by AAA in 1947, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit, publicly-supported charitable educational and research organization. Dedicated to saving lives and reducing injuries on our roads, the Foundation’s mission is to prevent crashes and save lives through research and education about traffic safety. The Foundation has funded over 200 research projects designed to discover the causes of traffic crashes, prevent them, and minimize injuries when they do occur.  Visit www.aaafoundation.org for more information on this and other research.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 54 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

NHTSA LATCH Images

New Federal Incentive Money Might Spur States to Action

WASHINGTON, D.C., (January 11, 2013) – New incentive funds from Congress could spur state legislatures to pass lifesaving safety improvements in their upcoming 2013 sessions, according to AAA.  Federal incentives for laws that ban texting while driving, improve teen driver safety and require ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers align with AAA’s nationwide legislative agenda to improve highway safety and could help combat a recent uptick in highway deaths.

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“The promise of federal dollars might encourage additional states to pass needed safety improvements,” said AAA Vice President of Public Affairs Kathleen Bower. “The recent federal estimate that traffic deaths increased during the first nine months of 2012 is a reminder that safety gains are not inevitable and that continued legislative action is necessary to help reduce fatal crashes.”

The recent passage of MAP 21, the federal transportation authorization law, provides an average of $500 million annually in incentive funding for states that address many of these safety improvements.

“Progress slowed on many fronts for traffic safety advocates last year, but AAA has hope for improvements in 2013,” continued Bower. “Between the heavy toll of highway deaths and the availability of new federal funds, state policymakers have many reasons to act on road safety this year.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in December released estimates that traffic deaths increased by 7.1 percent in the first nine months of 2012 versus the same period the previous year. The estimated rate of deaths also increased, from 1.09 to 1.16 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.

AAA’s top safety priorities in the states for 2013 include:

  • Distracted driving: AAA in 2009 launched a national campaign to ban text messaging while driving in all 50 states. Thirty-nine states now have laws that prohibit drivers from texting and AAA expects all 11 remaining states to consider this legislation in 2013.  Distracted driving remains a significant contributor to traffic deaths.  According to NHTSA, nine percent of fatal crashes and 18 percent of injury crashes in 2010 involved some form of distraction.
  • Teen driver safety: Graduated driver licensing (GDL) is one of the most effective means of reducing teen driving deaths. While every state has some form of GDL, nearly every state also has room for further improvements. Only six states (Del., Ind., Mich., N.Y., Okla. and W.Va.) have GDL systems that meet AAA’s guidelines for nighttime limits, passenger limits and practice requirements. AAA will also encourage states to strengthen license requirements and ban the use of wireless communications devices for novice drivers. Motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death for teens, accounting for almost one in three fatalities in this age group. Safety experts credit GDL laws for much of the 57 percent decline in traffic fatalities for 16- and 17-year-old drivers between 1995 and 2010.
  • Booster seat laws: Despite a proven ability to reduce injuries and deaths for child passengers by 45 percent, child passenger safety laws in 19 states fall short of safety experts’ guidelines recommending that all children under age eight remain in either a car or booster seat. Fla. and S.D. still do not have booster seat requirements.  Research also shows that children ages four to eight who live in states with booster seat laws are 39 percent more likely to be appropriately restrained than children in states without such laws.
  • Primary seat belt laws: AAA and other safety advocates will continue to work to change laws in the remaining 18 states without a primary belt law, increase fines in states with weak penalties and expand seat belt requirements to include backseat passengers in remaining states. Primary seat belt laws have repeatedly been shown as a low-cost way for states to quickly increase belt use, reduce traffic deaths and lower the cost of crashes. When lap/shoulder belts are used, the risk of injury to the front-seat occupants is reduced by 45 percent and states passing primary-enforcement seat belt laws should expect to see belt usage increase 10-13 percent.
  • Ignition interlocks: Only 17 states and four California counties require ignition interlock devices for all convicted drunk drivers. AAA is calling on the other 33 states to step up for safety and require ignition interlocks for all offenders. Research has identified the life-saving benefit of ignition interlocks, which are more effective than other methods at reducing repeat offenses among convicted drunk drivers while they are installed.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Are Car Seats Getting Any Easier to Install?

September 17th, 2012 by AAA

One decade after LATCH mandate, AAA finds misuse prevails

Erin Stepp(WASHINGTON, September 17, 2012 )– Installing a car seat correctly is no easy task.  In fact, it is estimated that nearly three out of four car seats are not properly installed. Despite technologies, such as Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH), aimed at simplifying the car seat installation process, many parents are still missing the mark.  AAA’s recent survey of Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPSTs), those certified to inspect and properly install car seats, reveals that LATCH misuse is cause for concern.  Nearly three quarters of CPSTs surveyed observe parents misusing the LATCH system more than half of the time.

Additional Resources

“While strides have been made to make car seats easier to use, the overwhelming majority of car seats are still not installed properly,” cautioned Jennifer Huebner-Davidson, manager, Traffic Safety Advocacy.  “AAA reminds parents to protect their most precious cargo by having their car seat installations inspected by a professional.”

LATCH has been required in nearly all vehicles and car seats since September 2002 and is touted as a user-friendly alternative to the seat belt.  According to NHTSA, 75 percent of parents with experience installing car seats using both methods prefer LATCH.  Despite this preference, LATCH does not guarantee a perfect installation; a recent IIHS survey revealed that only 13 percent of parent volunteers were able to use correctly use LATCH to install car seats.

The top misuses reported by CPSTs in the AAA recent survey:

Using LATCH in the rear-center seating position when not permitted by the vehicle manufacturer.

Safety experts have long promoted the rear-center seat as the safest seating position for children. However, in an IIHS study of 2010-11 model year vehicles, only 7 of the 98 top-selling vehicles supported LATCH use in the rear-center seat. Many parents make the mistake of using the inner anchor for each outboard seat to install a car seat in the center seat using LATCH.  If the vehicle does not support a LATCH installation in the rear-center seat, use a seat belt to secure the car seat, or move the car seat to an outboard seat. Be sure to always consult the vehicle owner’s manual before installing a car seat in any vehicle.

Using both the seatbelt AND the LATCH system to install the car seat.

While parents may think using both the seat belt and the LATCH system will provide additional protection, the opposite may be true.  In the event of a crash, belts are designed to expand and absorb crash forces.  If both systems are used, the crash forces may be distributed improperly, resulting in injury or death. Unless both the vehicle owner’s manual and the car seat manufacturer’s manual approve using both methods together, select either the seatbelt or the LATCH system.

Using the wrong belt path with the LATCH attachments to install the car seat.

Convertible car seats have belt paths for both rear-facing and forward-facing installations.  When installing the car seat, consult the car seat manufacturer’s instructions to determine which belt path to use.  Selecting the incorrect belt path will leave the seat improperly secured.

AAA’s recent survey also revealed that installation “difficulties” go beyond choosing which installation method to use.  CPSTs have reported well-intentioned parents using all types of everyday items, from bungee cords and plywood to zip ties and shoe laces to secure car seats. “Not only do these common items interfere with proper installation,” warned Huebner-Davidson, “but they can become projectiles in the event of a crash.”

Proper installation of a car seat provides children with the best protection in a crash.  Consulting an expert can be critical to ensuring that children are secured in the safest manner possible. Experts are available to help parents with their car seat installation by visiting your local AAA club, www.seatcheck.org or calling 866-SEATCHECK (866-732-8243). For additional information on AAA’s child passenger safety resources for parents and caregivers, visit SafeSeats4Kids.AAA.com

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

 

Erin Stepp

Revised recommendations prompt one third of parents to make changes.

WASHINGTON (March 21, 2012) –On the one year anniversary of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) updated car seat recommendations, a AAA survey reveals that outreach efforts are working and parents are getting the message. Over ninety percent of parents with a child under 13 reported being aware of the new guidelines, many having heard of the change from their child’s pediatrician.

By advising parents to keep toddlers rear-facing until age two, or until reaching the maximum height and weight for the seat, and recommending that older children between eight and 12 remain in a belt-positioning booster seat until 4 feet 9 inches tall, the AAP reinforced what safety groups had long advocated. According to AAA’s survey, parents heeded the group’s advice, with one in three (35 percent) changing the way their children under 13 ride in the car.

“It’s encouraging to find that many parents are aware of the recommendations and are taking these safety interventions seriously,” said Jill Ingrassia, managing director, AAA Government Relations and Traffic Safety Advocacy.  “Parents are getting the message that moving a child to the next step prematurely is actually a downgrade in safety.  Children should remain in their car or booster seat until they outgrow it.”

According to AAA’s survey, when parents with a child under two were asked why they had not made a change based on the new recommendations, 82 percent reported no change was needed as they were already meeting or exceeding the new guidelines. Other reasons commonly cited included parents reporting their child was uncomfortable or unwilling to sit rear-facing, parents’ reluctance to return a child to a rear-facing position after “graduating” to a forward-facing seat and the belief that the new recommendations were unnecessary.

With car seat manufacturers offering a wide array of car seats designed to accommodate larger toddlers in a rear-facing position, AAA reminds parents that the safety benefits of keeping children rear-facing far outweigh the convenience of a forward-facing seat.  Studies show that children are five times less likely to be injured in a crash when they are properly restrained in a rear-facing car seat.

Surveyed parents of older children offered similar answers. Of those who did not adopt changes based on the new recommendations, 77 percent reported their child was already meeting or exceeding guidelines. Other reasons cited for not making a change included the belief that the recommendations were too strict, their unwillingness to return their child to a booster seat after “graduating” to seat belt and concern over whether the child’s friends also used a booster seat.

“Seat belts are designed for adults and do not typically fit children until they have reached 4 feet 9 inches tall,” warned Ingrassia. “Graduating a child from a booster seat too soon may result in injury, or even death, in the event of a crash.”   

AAA developed a series of informational videos in which experts walk parents step-by-step through the new car seat and booster seat guidelines as well as proper seat belt use. With three out of four child safety seats not properly installed, consulting an expert can be critical to ensure that children are secured in the safest manner possible. Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians are available to help parents with their car seat installation through local AAA offices, by visiting http://www.seatcheck.org/ or calling 866-SEATCHECK (866-732-8243).

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

A Cautious Step in the Right Direction for Protecting Vulnerable Road Users

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(WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2012) AAA considers NHTSA’s regulation requiring automakers to put rear view cameras in all passenger vehicles by 2014 as a step in the right direction to help prevent needless injury and death among our nation’s most vulnerable citizens. Although such technology can be a useful tool in detecting people and objects behind the vehicle, this technology is limited in its ability to identify objects approaching the path of the backing vehicle. Therefore, AAA warns motorists who have vehicles equipped with this technology to use it to supplement—not replace—traditional efforts to turn and check blind spots (both rear and lateral) while backing up.

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 20, 2010

AAA supports recommendation shown to reduce serious injury and death among infants and toddlers
Erin SteppAAA now advises parents of infants and young toddlers to secure their children in rear-facing child safety seats for as long as possible, maxing out the upper weight or height limits of the car seat. Researchers indicate that toddlers are 75 percent less likely to die or be seriously injured in a crash when they ride in a rear-facing car seat up to their second birthday. National Child Passenger Safety Week is September 19-25 and AAA has updated its safety recommendations as part of its Seated, Safe and Secure initiative.

“AAA’s safety advice to parents is rooted in available scientific evidence, and the latest research clearly shows that children should ride rear-facing as long as possible,” said AAA Vice President of Public Affairs Kathleen Marvaso. “We have a critical opportunity to save young lives by empowering parents to follow these new guidelines.”

AAA recommends the following child passenger safety best practices:

  • Always read the car seat manufacturer’s instructions and vehicle owner’s manual.
  • Keep children rear-facing as long as possible – into their second year of life until they reach the upper weight or height limit of their rear-facing convertible seat. This will usually be around 30-35 pounds.
  • Once children outgrow the upper weight or height limit of their rear-facing convertible seats, they can ride in a forward-facing child safety seat.
  • Children should use a forward-facing child safety seat until they reach the maximum weight (usually 40-65 lbs.) or height for the harness.
  • Children should ride in a booster seat until age 8 or older unless they are 4’9” tall.
  • Move children to adult lap/shoulder belts when they are at least 4′ 9″ tall (which usually happens between ages 8 and 12) and vehicle safety belts fit properly.
  • For all children under age 13, the back seat is the safest place.

With three out of four child safety seats not properly installed, consulting an expert can be critical to ensure that children are secured in the safest manner possible. Experts are available to help parents with their car seat installation by visiting your local AAA club, www.seatcheck.org or calling 866-SEATCHECK (866-732-8243). For more additional information on AAA’s child passenger safety resources for parents and caregivers, visit AAA.com/SafeSeats4Kids.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides nearly 52 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 1, 2010

Partnership drives home safety messages to families via animated Busytown Mysteries series and AAA’s popular TourBook travel guides.

Troy GreenAAA has teamed up with Cookie Jar Entertainment and its Richard Scarry’s Busytown Mysteries animated series to educate parents, caregivers and children on the importance of safely securing young passengers in the family vehicle.

“Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children,” said AAA Vice President of Public Affairs Kathleen Marvaso. “With the potential to reach tens of millions through Busytown Mysteries, the safety messages on proper child restraint use will reach new audiences and help save lives.”

Starting on Saturday, September 11, a new public service announcement (PSA) is scheduled to air during CBS Saturday morning shows and on ThisTV digital network. The 30-second PSA will feature Busytown Mysteries characters and AAA’s child passenger safety messages. Later this fall, AAA’s popular 2011 TourBook travel guides and online TripTik Travel Planner will introduce specially created print and digital ads featuring Lowly Worm, Sally Cat and Huckle Cat along with AAA safety tips.

Richard Scarry’s Busytown Mysteries offers AAA a unique multi-faceted approach to engage parents and help protect child passengers. In concert with the broadcast PSAs and print and digital campaigns, other messaging opportunities will be incorporated on www.jaroo.com, a parent and child co-viewing video portal, award-winning www.busytownmysteries.com, and in special inserts in consumer products like best-selling Richard Scarry Busytown Eye Found It! board game.AAA will also highlight Busytown Mysteries characters in its 2010 Halloween Safety and 2011 Schools Open-Drive Carefully campaigns and AAA’s network of clubs will run ads in their member magazines.

Significant strides have been made in protecting children in vehicles over the last 25 years, yet there is more work to be done as traffic crashes remain the leading cause of death.More than 1,400 children die and over 175,000 are injured each year in car crashes.While more parents are buckling up their children today than they were five years ago, research indicates that three out of four car seats are not properly installed.

“We know that car seats and seat belts save lives and when used properly, they are the best protection in a crash. By teaming with the beloved characters of children’s author Richard Scarry, AAA extends the reach and impact of our safety messages on the importance of properly securing children in the car,” added Marvaso.

“Cookie Jar is thrilled by the strategic partnership between AAA and the iconic vehicles and animal characters from the Busytown of Richard Scarry, one of the bestselling children’s authors of all time, to promote child passenger safety,” said Cookie Jar’s Head of Marketing Michael Berreth. “For over fifty years, generations of kids have grown up with the books of Richard Scarry, so his busy world of CARS and TRUCKS and THINGS THAT GO offers the perfect vehicle to educate about child passenger safety and help save lives.”

In addition to the AAA partnership, Richard Scarry’s Busytown and Busytown Mysteries are busy brands with a lot of things happening. The Busytown Mysteries TV series on CBS on Saturday mornings will start airing twice per weekend on September 18. A range of Richard Scarry product will be sold this holiday as part of a retail promotion at a leading national retailer. Also, a live stage show is in development for smaller venues.

About AAA
As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides nearly 52 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

About Cookie Jar Entertainment
The Cookie Jar Group of Companies is one of the world’s leading independent entertainment and consumer products companies with offices around the globe. Cookie Jar Entertainment is a leader in the creation, production and marketing of animated and live-action programming. Its library of nearly 6,000 half-hour episodes of television features some of the world’s most recognizable series including Caillou, Inspector Gadget, Arthur, The Doodlebops and Johnny Test. The company controls Cookie Jar TV, the weekend morning block on CBS, and has a one-third interest in international children’s television channel KidsCo. Cookie Jar Entertainment’s Jaroo.com is the premiere web video destination for kids with the largest independent selection of full-length children’s TV series and movies online. Copyright Promotions Licensing Group, (CPLG) Cookie Jar’s full-service international licensing agency, represents numerous entertainment, sport and design brands such as Strawberry Shortcake, Richard Scarry, St. Andrews Links, Lucha Libre and Skelanimals.For more information, please visit www.cjar.com.

WASHINGTON, D.C. , May 26, 2010

Troy GreenMost parents rank safety as their top consideration when buying a car seat for their child, yet the majority of them don’t know how long their child should ride in it or the best place to install it, according to a recent survey by AAA and Dorel Juvenile Group.

Based on a telephone survey of 649 US adults with at least one child age 8 or younger living at home, the report comes just ahead of the busy summer road travel season.

AAA recommends that any child up to age 8 or 4 feet 9 inches tall should be secured in a child safety seat or booster seat. However, only about one in four (26%) survey respondents could identify proper child safety seat age and height recommendations. Additionally, less than half of parents surveyed (44%) knew the safest position for a single car seat was the center of the rear seat.

More than three-quarters (76%) of adults surveyed said safety was the most important consideration when purchasing a car or booster seat. And while an overwhelming majority (92%) said they were very or somewhat sure that their current car seat or booster seat was installed correctly, data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggest as many as 75 percent of car seats on the road today are not properly installed.

“We’re encouraged that parents identified safety features as the most important consideration when purchasing a child safety seat, but these data clearly illustrate that more education is needed on this important topic,” said Kathleen Marvaso, vice president, AAA Public Affairs. “The right car seat, installed correctly, is the best protection for a young child in the event of a crash,” she added.

Even as children outgrow their booster seats and progress to using adult seat belts, AAA recommends that all children 12 years of age or younger ride in the back seat of a vehicle.

“Our car seat team is committed to building the safest car seats in the world,” said Dorel Juvenile Group President Dave Taylor. “It’s equally important to educate parents, especially new ones, on how to use car seats to maximize their safety features. We are doing this through an upcoming series of videos on www.Safety1stTV.com, through our retail partners, and in partnership with organizations committed to road safety, such as AAA.”

For a free checklist of car seat safety and installation tips, visit www.safety1st.com.

Study Methodology

Conducted in April 2010, the study is based on a telephone survey of 649 US adults who report they drive in a vehicle with children that are 8 years of age or younger. The study results have an average statistical margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percent. Completed interviews were weighted by four variables – age, sex, geographic region and race – to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total US population of adults 18 years of age and older.

About AAA

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 51 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

About Dorel Juvenile Group

Dorel Juvenile Group is the world’s leading manufacturer of car seats, continually innovating with features such as Air Protect™, the revolutionary side impact protection technology, and a new, state-of-the-art Car Seat Design and Development Competency Center being built at the Company’s US manufacturing facility in Columbus, Indiana. Dorel Juvenile Group is a division of Dorel Industries Inc. (TSX: DII.B, DII.A), a world class juvenile products and bicycle company. Established in 1962, Dorel creates style and excitement in equal measure to safety, quality and value. The Company’s lifestyle leadership position is pronounced in both its Juvenile and Bicycle categories with an array of trend-setting products. Dorel’s powerfully branded products include Safety 1st, Quinny, Cosco, Maxi-Cosi, Bébé Confort and Hoppop in Juvenile, as well as Cannondale, Schwinn, GT, Mongoose, IronHorse and SUGOI in Recreational/Leisure. Dorel’s Home Furnishings segment markets a wide assortment of furniture products, both domestically produced and imported. Dorel is a US$2 billion company with 4500 employees, facilities in nineteen countries, and sales worldwide.

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 20, 2010

As state legislatures convene across the country for their 2010 sessions, AAA looks to build on a relatively successful campaign of traffic safety law improvements last year.

Troy Green“Last year brought more than a dozen big wins for traffic safety on core needs like teen driver safety, primary seat belt laws, and child passenger safety, as well as more than a dozen states enacting text messaging bans,” said AAA Vice President of Public Affairs Kathleen Marvaso.“ AAA is working with legislators and other safety advocates in statehouses across the country to draft and pass legislation in 2010 that will make roads safer.

“Traffic safety improvements should generate special interest in states facing budget challenges. These laws reduce governments’ medical and emergency response costs by preventing crashes, injuries and deaths. What’s more, some states could receive millions of dollars in financial incentives for passing some of these laws.”

AAA’s main traffic safety priorities in the states include:

Texting while driving bans: AAA last year launched a national campaign to pass laws in all 50 states to ban text messaging while driving. With a dozen states having enacted these laws in 2009, there are now 19 states with laws prohibiting drivers of all ages from texting. AAA expects nearly every remaining state will consider this legislation in 2010.

Teen driver safety: Although every state has some form of graduated driver licensing for new teen drivers, nearly every state still has opportunities to improve these lifesaving laws, according to AAA. States such as Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, New York, Oklahoma and West Virginia made significant improvements in 2009, such as increasing the age and requirements for getting a license and adding or improving limits on teen passengers and nighttime driving for newly licensed teens. Just six states (Delaware, Indiana, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma and West Virginia) have graduated driver licensing systems that meet AAA’s guidelines for nighttime limits, passenger limits, and practice requirements.

Booster seat laws: Three states (Arizona, Florida and South Dakota) lack booster seat requirements, which have been shown to improve safety for young passengers. Five states (Alaska, Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island and Texas) enacted laws in 2009 requiring booster seats for children under age 8. Despite this progress, booster seat laws in 24 states fall short of including all children under age 8.

Primary seat belt laws: After a record setting year in 2009 in which four states (Arkansas, Florida, Minnesota and Wisconsin) improved their seat belt laws to allow primary enforcement by police, AAA and other safety advocates will continue to work to improve laws in the remaining 20 states without a primary belt law. Primary seat belt laws have repeatedly been shown as a low cost way for states to quickly increase belt use, reduce traffic deaths, and lower the cost of crashes.

Move over laws: Nearly every state (47 states) has a law that requires drivers to slow down and, if safe, “move over” when passing an emergency vehicle that is actively working on a roadway. Six states (Alabama, Delaware, Ohio, Oregon, Nebraska and Nevada) improved their laws in 2009 to include tow trucks and other road service vehicles, increasing the number of states with these more comprehensive laws to 38. AAA will continue to promote these laws that have been shown to improve safety for police, tow truck operators, and others who work on our roadways.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 51 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

ORLANDO, Florida,  September 11, 2009

Parents urged to make sure their children are seated, safe and secure as part of National Child Passenger Safety Week

Erin SteppParents go to great lengths to make sure their children are safe. But when it comes to car seat safety, too frequently minor mistakes can put children at risk without parents realizing it.

To kick-off National Child Passenger Safety Week, Sept. 12-18, AAA warns parents of the six common car seat mistakes. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children, however 244 lives of children under age 5 were saved during collisions in 2008 because they were secured in a safety seat.

To help ensure their child is safe in a crash, AAA urges parents to guard against these mistakes.

  • Not using a safety seat. Whether an infant, toddler or booster seat-age child, parents should always use the appropriate child restraint system every time their children are in a vehicle. Safety seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and by 54 percent for toddlers. And, using a booster seat with a seat belt for older children instead of a seat belt alone reduces the risk of injury by 59 percent. Any child under age 8 or a height of 4 foot 9 inches needs some kind of safety seat in addition to the vehicle’s seat belt.
  • Not reading safety seat instructions. Eight out of 10 car seats are installed incorrectly. With thousands of combinations of child safety seats and vehicle belt systems, it’s important for parents to read both the vehicle owner’s manual and the child safety seat instructions before installing a seat to ensure it’s done properly.
  • Using restraints for older children too soon. Whether it’s turning an infant forward-facing or progressing into an adult seat belt, parents frequently advance their children into the stage of safety restraints too soon. Infants should remain rear-facing until they reach the upper weight limit of their rear-facing car seat—usually around 30 to 35 pounds. At an absolute minimum, children should not be turned to face forward until they are at least age 1 and 20 pounds. All children under age 13 should be placed in the back seat.
  • Installing safety seats too loosely. When a child safety seat is properly installed, it should not move more than one inch in any direction. Parents should use either the vehicle’s seat belt or LATCH system to secure the safety seat—but not both, unless approved by the vehicle and car seat manufacturers. If using a seat belt, make sure it is locked to hold the seat snugly in place. Children should use a booster seat until an adult seat belt fits them properly—typically around age 8 or when the child is 4 feet 9 inches tall.
  • Adjusting seat harnesses incorrectly. Safety seat harnesses should always be snug and lie flat without twists. Harnesses should be at or below the child’s shoulders when rear-facing and at or above the shoulders when forward-facing in order to hold the child’s body upright and against the seat. The chest clip should be positioned at armpit level.
  • Keeping loose items in vehicle. Any loose items in a vehicle, such as purses, laptop bags or umbrellas can become dangerous projectiles in a crash or sudden stop and cause severe injury to a child, other passengers or the driver. Make sure to secure loose items and provide children with only soft toys to play with in a vehicle.

AAA has a web site dedicated to helping parents understand how to properly keep their children safe inside a vehicle. Visit AAA.com/carseat for detailed information on how to select the proper safety seat for a child and where to get safety seats checked by trained professionals.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 51 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

 

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