Evaluation of the effectiveness of child safety restraints

Evaluation of the effectiveness of child safety restraints

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    Final report
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    The goals of the study were to better establish the relationsips between proper and improper usage of safety seats in crashes and the resulting injury levels and mechanisms and to establish measures of the distance from home that the children were when these accidents occurred. Using police reported accident data and supplemental information obtained through telephone interviews with parents/drivers of these children, the following conclusions were drawn: Almost half of the accidents involved children were involved in crashes within 5 miles of their home and 70 percent were involved within 10 miles. Severe crashes were as likely to occur close to home as they were farther from home. Overall, safety seats with easy to use designs were more likely to be properly used. Seats with separate shields or that required tethers were least likely to be correctly used. Serious injuries that were received by children in properly used seats were likely to be caused by intrusion or flying objects. Other findings show that lap held children are very vulnerable to serious and fatal injuries with the front center position being the most dangerous. Safety belts were shown to be very good protection for children when used in the rear seat. When compared to unrestrained and lap held children, lap belts reduced moderate to fatal injuries by 43 percent. Lap/shoulder belt combinations reduced these injuries by 32 percent. Gross misuse and partial misuse of safety seats resulted in 45 and 44 percent reductions in moderate to severe injuries while properly used seats showed a reduction of 68 percent. /Abstract from report summary page/
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