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Why do adults make errors when installing and using car seats?

Improving correct use of child restraint systems

Despite laws in all 50 states requiring child restraint use, many children still are injured in motor vehicle crashes. One possible explanation for this is the large number of child passengers who are riding unrestrained in vehicles, are improperly placed in child restraint systems (CRS), or prematurely graduated to adult vehicle seat belts.

Westat helped the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) address this problem by conducting a study to identify factors that contribute to errors in

  • Selecting and installing a CRS
  • Properly securing a child in a CRS

The research included both novice and experienced parents and caregivers. The study enabled NHTSA to target efforts toward reducing/removing error-prone factors related to installing and using a CRS through improved product literature and educating the public.

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