Revised Estimates of Child Restraint Effectiveness

  • Published: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1996
  • Authors: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Date Added: 09 Apr 2012
  • Last Update: 07 Dec 2015
  • Format: pdf

Objectives:

To update the results of the 1988 NHTSA report on the effectiveness of child car restraints.

Methodology:

An analysis of fatal car and light truck vans accidents in the USA between 1988 and 1994 in which the use of restraints or not by the driver and child passengers was reported. Fatality odds ratios were calculated using a matched pairs technique.

Key Findings:

In Cars, between 1988 and 1994 :

  • child safety seats reduced the risk of death among infants (under 1 year old) by 71% (up from 69%).

  • child safety seats reduced the risk of death among toddlers by 54% (up from 50%).

  • using an adult seat belts reduced the risk of death by 47% for toddlers (up from 36%).

In light trucks and vans, between 1988 and 1994:

  • child safety seats reduced the risk of death among infants (under 1 year old) by 58%.

  • child safety seats reduced the risk of death among toddlers by 54% (up from 59%).

  • toddlers using adult seat belts reduced the risk of death by 47%.

Overall

  • Children are 26% less likely to be fatally injured if sitting the rear of a vehicle.

  • The maximum potential for reducing the risk of death for child passengers is achieved by children using an appropriate child restraint in the rear of the vehicle.

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