Passenger Safety in Motor Vehicles When children are driven in a motor vehicle other than a bus, all children should be transported only if they are restrained in a developmentally appropriate car safety seat, booster seat, seat belt, or harness that is suited to the child’s weight and age in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations. The child should be securely fastened, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The child passenger restraint system should meet the federal motor vehicle safety standards and carry notice of compliance. Child passenger restraint systems should be installed and used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and should be secured in back seats only. Car safety seats should be replaced if they have been recalled, are past the manufacturer’s “date of use” expiration date, or have been involved in a crash that meets the U.S. Department of Transportation crash severity criteria or the manufacturer’s criteria for replacement of seats after a crash.51 Buckling children in age- and size-appropriate car seats, booster seats, and seat belts reduces the risk of serious and fatal injuries:
Car seat use reduces the risk of injury in a crash by 71-82% for children when compared to seat belt use alone.
Booster seat use reduces the risk for serious injury by 45% for children aged 4–8 years when compared with seat belt use alone.
For older children and adults, seat belt use reduces the risk of death and serious injury by approximately half.52