New NHTSA PSA: Child Seats Work--If You Choose the Right One

By Jason Davis | April 10, 2012
The NHTSA today announced a new set of public safety announcements aimed toward child passenger safety. The ads focus on helping parents and guardians in choosing the correct method of safety restraint for their children's age and body type, including rear-facing and forward-facing child seats, booster seats, and seat belts. The “The Right Seat” efforts are to remind parents to “make sure their child is in the right car seat,” explained Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Safety is our top priority for everyone on our roadways, and we’re calling on parents to do everything they can to protect our most vulnerable passengers,” said LaHood. “Together, the new public service announcement and website will help parents understand the differences in child safety seats, make sure they choose the right seat for their child, and properly secure them every time they get behind the wheel.” The PSA's, which were created pro bono by the Gotham Inc., will air on television, radio, online and in outdoor advertising nationwide. Remarkably, much of the television airtime will be donated entirely by the media and distributed to more than 33,000 outlets. While the ads may seem redundant to responsible parents, or responsible citizens in general, the NHTSA notes that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children 12 years and younger. According to the NHTSA, 4028 children younger than 12 were killed in motor vehicle accidents from 2006 to 2010, and another 660,000 were injured during the same time. As if those numbers weren't bad enough, here is a story to get your blood boiling, and thankfully didn't end as badly as it could have: On April 6, a woman was arrested in Los Angeles for texting while driving with an infant in her lap. In the backseat, Police found two more children, a 2-year-old boy in an unsecured car seat and a 4-year-old girl who was not wearing a seat belt. Sadly, stories like this are shockingly common. And while accidents are at times unavoidable, serious injury, and death, can in most cases be prevented by taking the extra few seconds required to put the phone down and secure your helpless, defenseless cargo. “The proper use of a child seat is the most effective way to keep a child safe in a moving vehicle,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. “Parents and caregivers should always use a child seat and, based on the updated NHTSA guidelines, should keep their children in their current seats for as long as possible before moving them up to the next type of seat.” Hopefully, the new PSA campaign will have a positive effect on parental idiocy, neglect, and careless ignorance. And for the rest, who are responsible and loving and who are perhaps unsure or inexperienced, the NHTSA's new website, Parents Central, can help fill in the gaps. Sources: NHTSA, KTLA