Most state child seat laws go up to 8 years of age, which is much better than those few states that don’t and the one that only goes up to 5 (we’re not naming any names but you know who you are, Florida).
What about the children between the ages of 8 and 14? 8 to 14-year-olds need to be safe too! Children typically don’t fit into the vehicle seat belt until they are 4’9″. Most 8-year-olds are not yet that tall. Many children don’t fit the seat belt properly and pass the 5-step test until they are closer to 12. Those children still need a child restraint like a RideSafer or booster seat.
Here are some stats provided by the Colorado Department of Transportation and CPS Colorado:
- In 2012, approximately 2,474 children aged 8-14 were injured in motor vehicle crashes, and eight children were killed. Please make sure your children are properly restrained!
- Kids in a booster seat are 45% less likely to be injured in a crash (CDC). Avoid the consequences and make sure your kids are in the proper seat based on their height and weight.
- In 2012, 37% of 8-15 year olds killed in car crashes were in the front seat. Most children are moved to the front seat too soon. Make sure your tweens remain sitting in the back seat!
- In 2012, 80% of kids that were killed in traffic crashes were between the ages of 8 and 15. Should your child be in a booster seat? Are they sitting in the front seat too soon? Make sure your children are properly restrained in your vehicle!
- A car moving as slow as 16 MPH can deploy airbags in a collision! How fast does a tornado move? Roughly 200MPH. Airbags move at a similar speed. Between 1990 and 2008, 90% of airbag fatalities were children and infants (NHTSA).
Don’t let your children move up to the front or move to just the seat belt too early — drive smart, be safe and avoid consequences that are preventable.
Do you follow these recommendations for your older child? Share your comments below.
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This post was originally published August 2014 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.