With Millions of Families Preparing to Hit the Road this Summer, Survey Finds Dangerous Gaps in Parents’ Knowledge of Car Seat Safety

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.

Related Articles



YouTube Videos

AAA Senior Driver Expos

NewsRoom Video Gallery

Media: Find and Download AAA Videos and B Roll.