RICHMOND – As a part of National Child Passenger Safety Week, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) illustrates to parents and caregivers the importance of making sure their child is always secure in their vehicle with an informative video providing top safety tips.
“To help ensure best safety practices, DMV is providing additional resources on our website for parents. According to NHTSA, 46% of booster and car seats are used incorrectly. Parents want to do everything they can to protect their children. We hope these tips will help them do just that,” said DMV Commissioner Gerald Lackey, the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car crashes are a leading cause of death for children under the age of 14. In 2022, 2,718 children were injured in car crashes in Virginia, and of the 1,005 total traffic fatalities in Virginia, 12 were children. One of the children who was tragically killed on Virginia roadways in 2022 was unrestrained.
“As a Level I pediatric trauma center, we see children every year who are seriously injured in motor vehicle crashes,” said Corri Miller-Hobbs, Pediatric Injury Prevention Outreach and Education Coordinator at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. “The best way to keep kids safe on the road is to find a safety seat that fits your child and vehicle and use it correctly on every ride, no matter the distance. This doesn’t have to be the most expensive seat with all the bells and whistles, but one that meets U.S. safety standards and is installed properly.”
To help parents better protect their children in the event of a car crash, DMV strongly encourages the following safety tips for proper car seat usage:
Make sure you are purchasing the correct car seat for both your child as well as your vehicle.
Depending on your child’s age and weight, make sure your car seat is facing the right direction, either the front or rear of the vehicle.
Make sure the seat is installed correctly by carefully reading the instructions for both the car seat and the vehicle.
There should be less than one inch of movement side-to-side and front-to-back.
Make sure the harness is positioned correctly and fits snuggly.
Your child should be rear-facing until your child is at least 2 years old or has reached the minimum weight limit of a forward-facing seat.
Remembering these safety tips will help ensure a safer ride for your child, and to help demonstrate this, DMV has released an official Child Safety Seat Tips video.
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.