Motor vehicle crashes have been the leading cause of death for children for over 20 years, with a child being involved in a crash every 25 seconds.  

Many tragedies can be prevented by securing a child in a correctly installed car seat. Proper installation reduces a child’s risk of fatal injury by 71%. However, only 1 in 5 parents regularly check their child’s car seat for correct installation.  

Here’s why car seats are often improperly installed in vehicles, putting children at unnecessary risk. 

1. Installation can be complicated. 

Even if you consider yourself experienced with cars, car seat installation can be overwhelming. Our founder, Danny Daniel, personally experienced this challenge when he and his wife were expecting their first child. 

“When my wife was pregnant, we bought the safest, highest rated car seat we could find, but trying to install it was more complicated than I ever imagined,” said Danny. “I’ve been working on cars most of my life, and I still had trouble. That’s when it occurred to me that this must be a problem for most people.” 

That’s why Danny and our team are on a mission to help others facing the same challenge. Since 2008, we have partnered with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and Save a Life Texas Department of Transportation to provide free car seats and teach correct installation to families in our community. 

2. Most parents don’t know their car seat is installed incorrectly. 

Many parents lack knowledge about proper car seat installation. Out of the nearly 2,000 children fitted for car seats at our Car Seat Safety events over the years, only 3.2% arrived at the event properly restrained. 

Proper car seat installation is crucial for keeping children safe on the road. In 2021, 710 children under the age of 13 lost their lives while riding in passenger vehicles, and 100,000 children under 13 were injured in the same year. One-third of children who died in passenger vehicles were unrestrained, and 73% of forward-facing seats are installed incorrectly. 

Beyond reducing injury and death risks among children, proper use of child safety seats leads to numerous benefits, including lower medical costs, prevention of lost future earnings, and improved quality of life after a collision.  

3. Parents aren’t aware of common car seat mistakes. 

Here are four common car seat mistakes to watch out for: 

1 – Improper Seat Installation 

Every car seat is different. Seats that may look similar in design often have drastically different installation guidelines.  

People often make mistakes such as routing seat belts through the wrong belt path, forgetting to use a top tether, or installing the car seat in the wrong direction. This is why it’s important to consult a trained technician when installing a seat for the first time. 

2 – Wrong Size Car Seat 

There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to car seats. The proper fit of a car seat depends on your child’s age, height, and weight.  

Make sure to follow the guidelines provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and consult a trained car seat expert to be sure your child’s seat fits properly. 

3 – Unsafe Chest Clip Position 

The chest clip is one of the most important ways to keep children safe in the event of a crash. If it’s too low, they could slip out and be ejected during a crash. Too high? The risk for severe neck injuries increases.  

As a general rule, the chest clip should be positioned in line with a child’s armpits.  

4 – Outdated or Unsafe Car Seat  

Always pay attention to the expiration date on your car seat. Even with the highest quality car seats, parts wear out and plastic becomes brittle.  

Most seats expire six years after the manufacture date. Typically the expiration date can be found on the seat and owner’s manual. In addition, it’s important to register your car seat with the manufacturer after purchase. This will ensure you are alerted of any safety recalls.  

We Can Help You Install Your Child’s Car Seat 

If you or someone you know needs a car seat or wants to ensure that theirs is properly installed, join us for our annual Car Seat Safety event in partnership with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and Save a Life Texas Department of Transportation on Saturday, September 23rd, 2023

At this event, trained technicians will be on hand to teach parents how to correctly install car seats, provide free car seats to those in need, and make sure that every child leaves safer than they arrived.  

During your pre-scheduled appointment, an expert technician will provide you with a free child car seat and assist you in installing and inspecting it at no cost. Our goal is to make sure that every child is buckled up correctly and protected on the road. 

Event Details: 

  • Date: Saturday, September 23rd, 2023 
  • Time: 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. 
  • Location: Brazos Center Parking Lot – 3232 Briarcrest Dr., Bryan, TX 77802 

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to learn how to install a car seat correctly and receive a free car seat. Click below to make your appointment!