Car seats - proper installation-toddler, NHTSAEnlarge Photo
It's Child Passenger Safety Week in the U.S., and before it draws to a close tomorrow, we have a grim statistic to share: according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, roughly two children under 13 were killed in auto accidents every day in 2011, and another 338 were injured.
Worst of all, hundreds of those deaths could've been avoided if the children had been in car seats or wearing their seat belts. Unfortunately, more than one-third of them weren't.
Owners of large vehicles seem the most prone to ignore child safety regulations. Perhaps because big SUVs seem safe, SUV drivers are the least likely to ensure that their kids are properly buckled up. Owners of pickups and vans don't perform much better. At the other end of the scale, drivers of conventional cars are most likely to follow safety rules for children.
NHTSA has a number of suggestions for parents and guardians to ensure that their kids ride safely and securely in vehicles:
For some special tips on accommodating growing kids in your own car -- including when to switch from a car seat to a booster seat, and from a booster seat to a regular adult seatbelt -- check out our rundown of the biggest car-seat mistakes that parents make.