At Work At Home On the Road

Improper Safety Seats, Teen Driver Error Put Children at Great Risk

  • Car crashes are the leading cause of death for children. On average, two children under age 13 were killed and 308 were injured every day in 2014.

    Properly securing children in safety seats goes a long way in keeping them safer. The National Safety Council has outlined important passenger safety steps in its Child Restraint Position Statement released in August 2016. NSC asks parents and caregivers to read the position statement and learn how to properly secure children – not only in cars, but across multiple modes of transportation.

    NSC believes child restraint systems should go beyond state requirements, because too often state laws are no match for the laws of physics.

    Tips on Child Passenger Safety


    • Read the NSC position statement on child restraints, which addresses child passenger safety among multiple modes of transportation
    • Take advantage of car seat safety checks held nationwide during National Child Passenger Safety Week
    • If you're pregnant, schedule a car seat installation with a certified child passenger safety technician before the child is born
    • Children should ride in the back seat at least through age 12
    • If your kids complain about wearing seat belts, don't negotiate; don't drive off until they buckle up
    • Always be consistent and wear your seat belt; driver safety belt use strongly influences whether your child will buckle up
    • All 50 states require child seats with specific criteria; here is a list of child passenger safety laws by state, but too often, state laws don't go far enough
    • The life of a car seat is from six to eight years; recalls for child seat manufacturers for the past 10 years can be found here
    • Air bags can save the lives of older children and adults, but they can be fatal for young children

    Vehicle Crashes the No. 1 Killer of Teens


    According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2015 marked the second year in a row in which the number of teen motor-vehicle occupant fatalities increased; 2,358 teens were killed in 2015 compared to 2,176 in 2014.

    Motor-vehicle crashes continue to be the No. 1 cause of death for U.S. teens. The death toll among teens 13 to 19, including pedestrian and bicycle incidents, was 2,715 in 2015 and is equivalent to more than seven deaths per day.

    Crashes involving young drivers impact people of all ages. In 2015, the number of people dying in crashes involving at least one young driver totaled 4,702, a 10% increase over 2014. And, young driver fatalities account for less than half of the overall fatalities associated with young driver crashes. In 2015, there were 1,886 young driver fatalities, 975 fatalities among passengers of young drivers, 1,320 fatalities to occupants of all other vehicles and 521 non-occupant fatalities.

    Yes, these statistics are frightening. That's why teen driver safety is an NSC initiative. Learn why a teen's biggest threat is sitting on the driveway and what you can do to protect your child – from having them sign a safe-driving contract to signing up for a Weekly Digital Driving Coach.

NSC Position Statement

NSC is calling for uniform child passenger safety practices on school buses, airplanes and in vehicles. Learn the important steps you can take to ensure children are safe on every trip.

Read the Statement

Child Passenger Safety Awards

National Child Passenger Safety Board, a program managed by NSC, announced the 2017 Child Passenger Safety Tech and Instructor of the Year.

Meet the Winners

Using the Correct Car Seat Makes All the Difference

Deaths and injuries can be prevented by using the right car seat. Visit SaferCar.gov/TheRightSeat to know what is appropriate for the age and size of your child.

National Safety Council Mission

The National Safety Council eliminates preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy.

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