Consumer research has revealed the extent to which parents are taking risks with child car seats, with up to 20% admitting to using them even when incorrectly installed.
New research, conducted by OnePoll for SEAT, has found that one third of parents polled admitted using a car seat designed for an older child, while 20% have used an incorrectly installed child seat. It also revealed that 40% of parents worry they have not fitted a seat correctly.
One in ten parents has allowed four children to sit across the back seats, while 20% (one in five) have let their child sit on a cushion instead of a booster seat. Up to a third of British parents (33%) have broken the law when transporting someone else’s son or daughter by letting them travel without a child seat.
Under the current law, children aged up to 12 years old (or 135cm tall) must use a child seat when travelling in a car, with drivers currently facing a fine of up to £500 and three penalty points for using the wrong restraint.
“According to research from Spain’s Traffic Department, the difference between correct and incorrect child seat use can reduce the risk of casualty by 75% and injuries by 90%,” said Javier Luzon, from the SEAT vehicle safety development department. “But all parents need to do is follow some basic rules.”
He went on to emphasise the importance of using the correct seat, sitting children in the back and keeping children rear-facing as long as possible.