We can all sing the jingle “buckle up, for safety, buckle up”. Yet according to a study by Safe Kids Worldwide, car crashes are a leading cause of death for children in the United States. However, 1 in 4 parents confess that they fail to properly restrain their kids while driving.
In 2011, 33% of the kids who died in a car crash were unrestrained, which is staggering considering that those deaths could have been prevented. As adults, we abide by the “Click it, or Ticket” laws, so why then don’t we adhere to the “buckle up, every time, on every ride” rule for our kids? The study’s findings are astounding:
– 1 in 3 affluent parents with a household income of $100,000 or greater believe it is acceptable to leave their children unrestrained for short distances. This poses great danger to kids, since 60% of accidents involving kids occur 10 minutes or less from home.
– Nearly 23% of parents between 18 and 29 are okay with letting their kids travel unrestrained when traveling overnight. Yet, traveling unrestrained at night makes them more vulnerable to being injured in a crash. Night time accidents easily occur due to the obvious: tired drivers or poor sight due to the dark.
– Parents with graduate degrees are twice as likely to let kids go unrestrained because they are in a hurry. When drivers are preoccupied by schedules or rushing to get somewhere on time, they are less likely to be fully attentive while driving, putting them at risk for an accident.
Parents’ attitudes on buckling up send powerful messages to their kids. Parents need to draw a hard line when it comes to buckling up, just like they would for any other dangerous activity. Parents would never let their kids play with fire or go jumping off of bridges. As our world becomes more populated, and our streets and highways become more congested with traffic, it is vital that we require kids to be buckled up in age-appropriate safety seats when traveling.
To read more of Meghan’s tips on teaching buckle safety, click here…