Photo Credit: Artem Varnitsin/


AAA: The Importance Of Child Safety Restraints

Written By: CarPro | Sep 14, 2023 10:39:24 AM

September is Baby Safety Month, during which Child Passenger Safety Week runs from September 17-23, 2023. In timely fashion, the American Automobile Association (AAA) is sharing the results of a new study that spotlights the importance of effective car seat use. The study was jointly released by AAA and car seat maker Chicco USA. 

Researchers say the study, which looked at five years of crash data from the U.S Department of Transportation, points to the the lack of proper child restraint use among children hurt or killed in car crashes. The study found that nearly half (48%) of children aged 10 and under who were injured and half (51%) who were killed in crashes were either using seatbelt prematurely or no restraint instead of a car seat.

From 2017-2021 data showed that more than 3.9 million children were involved in crashes while riding in a vehicle. Of those 527,000 were injured and 2,789 were killed.

“AAA’s in-depth analysis of crash data has brought to light safety issues that concern us, and we’re in a position to help by sharing our expert resources about car seat safety use factors such as proper seat installation, type of seat and mode of use at each stage of child growth,” said William Hasse, Vice President of Marketing, Chicco USA. 

When used properly, infant seats, boosters, and seat belts will effectively protect young passengers. AAA cites U.S. Department of Transportation data that shows that child restraints reduce fatalities by 71% for infants younger than 1 year old and by 54% for children 1 to 4 years old in passenger cars.   

“Traffic safety is central to AAA’s mission and the data shows the importance of understanding what type of child restraint to use and when,” commented AAA Spokesperson Aixa Diaz. “We’re pleased to collaborate with Chicco to help deliver critical information about car seat use to parents and other caregivers.” 

National Seat Check Saturday is Saturday, September 23, 2023, a day where many organizations and agencies host free car seat check events for parents and child caretakers.

AAA researchers say analysis of the data shows the need for parents to make sure they're using the right child restraint system for each growth phase.  Here are some tips AAA provides from Child Passenger Safety Technician at Chicco, Josh Dilts:

  • Don’t skip the booster phase. The data decreased by more than half in car seat use from age 7 to age 8, an age that saw significant injuries reported. Many parents may not know that seat belt fit is more about their child’s height than age (many state laws focus on age only). Based on their size, children upwards of 10 years old may benefit from using a booster seat. Most booster seats accommodate children up to a height of 57 inches.  
  • Children should always use a restraint when riding in vehicles. Shifting from a car seat to a vehicle seatbelt too early isn’t the only issue, as nearly four in ten (38%) of children aged 7-10 killed in a car crash were completely unrestrained and, of the youngest children (aged 0-3), nearly one in four (24%) who were killed were unrestrained. Chicco’s Dilts notes that the use of no restraints, which is defined by this dataset as not using a child car seat, booster seat, seatbelt nor strapped into the vehicle in any manner, is alarming. “Parents should be diligent in ensuring their child is properly restrained in the car before it is in motion, especially if the child is not old enough to secure themselves,” says Dilts.  
  • Use available resources. Chicco offers the latest car seat guidelines, installation tutorials and caregiver FAQs on Local fire departments often have a Child Passenger Safety Technician on hand who can check if your car seat is installed correctly. For more resources and to find a car seat check near you, visit for more.  

You can check out the NHTSA's car seat and booster guide here →

Need a new car seat or booster? AAA shares that during Child Passenger Safety Week from September 17-23, parents can take advantage of a special 20% off offer from Chicco. The offer is good on seats such as the OneFitClearTexAll-in-One that's designed to fit from birth through booster and uses ClearTex fabric that is inherently fire-resistant with no added chemicals.  

Photo Credit:  Artem Varnitsin/