A recent study has concluded that parents are generally diligent about requiring booster seats in their own cars for their children, but are surprisingly lax about insisting on booster seats when their child carpools with someone else.
The study, conducted by the journal Pediatrics, surveyed around 1,600 parents nationwide who had kids between four and eight years old. According to the survey, 76 percent of parents said that their child used a safety seat while riding in the family car. However, only 55 percent said that they require booster seats when driving other children. Twenty-one percent did not routinely ask other drivers to require a booster seat for their child.
Booster Seats Save Lives
Booster seats are important in reducing child injures. Seatbelts are designed to fit adults, so until children reach a certain size, they will not receive adequate protection from seatbelts.
In the event of a collision, ill-fitting seatbelts can cause injury to a child’s spine, bowels and bladder. Booster seats work by aligning the child’s body properly with the seatbelt, giving full protection.
Car accidents are the leading cause of death for children nationwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, using booster seats reduces the risk of serious injury and death among children by over 50 percent.
The Law on Booster Seats
Florida law requires all children under five years old to be restrained while traveling in the vehicle. If the child is under four years old, the child must be secured in a child safety seat. Children between the ages of four and five may use either a safety seat or a seat belt to restrain the child. It is recommended that children weighing 40-80 pounds and under five feet tall ride in a booster seat.
The penalty for violating the restraint law for children is a fine of $60 and an assessment of three points on the offender’s driving record.
Source: “Carpooling parents don’t always use booster seats”, Reuters.com, 1/30/12