ERIC Number: ED164119
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1978-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Restraint Use Legislation: Its Prospects for Increasing the Protection of Children in Cars.
Williams, Allan F.
Young children and infants are especially vulnerable to serious injury in auto collisions because so few of them are protected by restraints or because legally required restraint devices are improperly used. Seat belt use laws tend to exclude children and child restraint legislation which exists includes gaps and shortcomings that limit its potential effectiveness. Recent empirical evidence from several countries indicates that infants and children can be protected by seat belts. Statistics from Australia indicate that fatalities were reduced among children who were covered by seatbelt laws, while fatalities among younger children excluded from the belt law remained about the same. Recent child restraint legislation in Australia and the U.S. has been associated with legally permitted but hazardous passenger behaviors such as avoiding the use of seat belts, placing children unrestrained in back seats and holding children on laps. It is urgent that all children be included in carefully formulated legislation requiring restraint use. However, improper use of restraint devices can reduce the effects of such legislation. It is likely that significant advances in the protection of children in cars will be achievable only through passive, automatic protective devices. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - General
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Insurance Inst. for Highway Safety, Washington, DC.