NPR recently examined a study from the Journal of Pediatrics which revealed that 43% of children who died in a car crash between the years of 2010-2014 were not properly restrained. Another statistic from the study showed that 20% of children who were involved in a fatal car accident were not wearing a seatbelt properly, if at all. In spite of education on car seat safety provided by numerous organizations like Safe Kids Worldwide, the fatalities associated with improper restraint are still too high.
Seatbelt laws vary from state to state in the U.S., but Virginia law requires anyone under the age of 18 to be properly restrained according to federal safety standards. According to the Virginia DMV the driver is responsible for making sure that this happens. A driver who doesn’t comply can get a ticket, but more importantly they are putting their young passengers at risk, increasing their chance of injury or fatality.
In Fairfax County you can go for a free car seat inspection at one of their monthly scheduled car seat events. Trained sheriff’s deputies take the time on one Saturday a month to inspect your child’s car seat at the Fairfax County Public Safety Center. This month they are also hosting an offsite event at Target in Chantilly, VA on Friday June 23, 2017 from 1:00pm – 3:00pm. If you are not in the Reston-Chantilly area, we’d like to encourage you to check with your local police about where to get help near you. With the school year coming to an end and many families getting ready to hit the road for summer vacations, there is no better time to make sure your child is as safe as possible!