ITD's Office of Traffic and Highway Safety is working to help reduce the number of needless injuries to children because of automobile crashes every year.
Children ages 4 to 8 who use booster seats are 59 percent less likely to be injured in a car crash than children who are restrained only by a safety belt, according to a study by Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show that motor vehicle traffic crashes were the leading cause of death for every age 3 through 33. A positive relationship between drivers using safety belts and children being restrained shows 92 percent of the children who were transported by belted drivers were restrained compared to only 62 percent of the children transported by unbelted drivers.
That's why the Office of Traffic and Highway Safety is joining with NHTSA, St. Luke's Children's Hospital, the Ad Council and others around Valentine's Day this year to commemorate Child Passenger Safety Week (Feb. 12-18). The primary goal this year is to remind all parents and other adults responsible for children traveling in motor vehicles - if the kids are under 4' 9" tall, they need to be in a booster seat. Only an estimated 10 percent to 20 percent of children ages 4 to 8 use booster seats.
"Securing your child in the right child safety seat at the right time is one of the most important things you can do to protect your child," said Dr. Jerry Hirschfeld, administrator for St. Luke's Children's Hospital. "Booster seats, the often-overlooked step, are vital to protect this age group from car crashes, the leading cause of death and disability in our children."
For maximum child passenger safety, parents and caregivers simply need to remember and follow the 4 Steps for Kids:
Idaho law requires all vehicle passengers to wear safety restraints. Adult drivers can be ticketed if passengers younger than 18 years are not properly restrained.
"Drivers need to take Idaho's seat belt law seriously," said Mary Hunter, OTHS Restraint Coordinator. "Seat belts are your single best defense against injury or death in the event of a crash."