Occupant Protection

Seatbelts, Airbags and Child Passenger Safety Seats

Seatbelts and Airbags
It has been shown that a properly adjusted and fastened seatbelt can reduce the risk of death by 45% and injury by 50% if you are involved in a crash. Seatbelts:

  • Prevent occupants from being ejected from the vehicle: Statistics show that 75% of occupants who are ejected are killed as a result. Remaining in the vehicle is your best chance for survival
  • Provides a “Ride-down Effect: Seatbelts hold you in place. They bring you to a stop with the vehicle rather than the vehicle stopping and you continuing and striking the interior parts of the vehicle. This minimizes your “internal collision” which can cause fatal internal injuries.
  • Spread the crash forces out over the stronger parts of the body: A properly fastened and adjusted seatbelt goes across the pelvis and shoulders. The crash forces are spread across bone rather than soft tissue and internal organs.

Airbags add a level of protection but do not replace a properly adjusted and fastened seatbelt.
NJ State Law says:

  • Seatbelt laws apply to all passenger vehicles including vans, pickup trucks and SUV's, that are required to be equipped with seat belts.
  • All passengers of a passenger automobile, operated on a street or highway are required to wear a properly adjusted and fastened seat belt system.
  • The driver is responsible for proper seat belt use by all occupants who are under the age of 18.
  • Easy way to remember….”Everybody Everywhere needs to be buckled.”

Child Passenger Safety – UPDATED 9/1/2015
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death amongst children age 3 to 14. A properly installed and used child seat can reduce the risk of death by 71%.
NJ Law says:

  • Children under the age of 8 years old and a height of 57 inches shall be secured as follows in the rear seat of a motor vehicle:
    • Children under age 2 and 30 pounds shall be secured in a rear facing seat equipped with a 5-point harness.
    • Children under age 4 and 40 pounds shall be secured as described above until they reach the upper limits of the rear facing seat, then in a forward facing child restraint equipped with a 5-point harness.
    • Children under age 8 and a height of 57 inches shall be secured as described above until they reach the upper limits of the rear facing or forward facing seat, then in a belt positioning booster seat.
    • Children over age 8 and 57 inches in height must be properly secured by a seat belt.

Nationally it has been found that approximately 73% of all Child Passenger Safety Seats are being used incorrectly or are not installed correctly.

What are the most common child safety seat installation mistakes?

  • Not using the right child safety seats for a child’s size and age;
  • Not placing the child safety seat in the correct direction;
  • Incorrect installation of the child safety seat in relation to the vehicle’s air bags;
  • Incorrect installation and tightness of the child safety seat to the vehicle seat;
  • Not securing or tightening the child safety seat’s harness and crotch straps;
  • Improper use of locking clips for certain vehicle safety belts;
  • Not making sure the vehicle’s seat belts fit properly across the child when using a booster seat; and
  • Using a defective or broken child safety seat.

 

Download Resources:

NJDHTS Seatbelt Card
NJDHTS Trifold car seats
Seatbelt Trifold
NHTSA Car Seat Recommendations
Installing a Car Seat Correctly


Embrace Life Video
http://www.youtube.com/embed/h-8PBx7isoM
Recall List
http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/recalls/childseat.cfm
http://www.hsrc.unc.edu/safety_info/child_passenger_safety/child_restraint_recalls_list.cfm

CPS Contact
Jeff Petrone, 908-725-1900 Ext 688
carseats@scpo.net