By AAA of Western and Central New York
Child Passenger Safety Week runs through Sept. 26, and AAA is reminding motorists to stay safe. In fact, Saturday is National Seat Check Saturday, where parents can make sure car seats are properly installed to protect young children.
Consider this: Every 32 seconds in 2018, one child under the age of 13 in a passenger vehicle was involved in a crash. Many times, injuries and deaths can be prevented by proper use of car seats, boosters and seat belts.
In late 2019, a new law went into effect in New York requiring parents to keep infants and young toddlers in rear-facing child safety seats until they are at least 2 years old or until they reach the maximum height and weight for the seat being used. The law falls in line with updated recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
“A rear-facing seat provides increased support for the very vulnerable and still-developing head, neck and back of young children,” said Elizabeth Carey, director of public relations at AAA Western and Central New York.
In 2020, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a new law, which goes into effect Nov. 1, requiring all passengers to wear a seat belt in the back seat of a motor vehicle, including passengers of ride sharing services such as Uber and Lyft. Until now, passengers over age 16 were not required to wear seat belts in the rear seat in New York. The new law, championed by AAA New York State, will save lives and prevent injuries across state roadways by requiring all occupants in a motor vehicle to buckle up.
Over the past decade, nearly 300 people were killed and over 25,000 were injured unrestrained in the back seat of a motor vehicle. This accounts for eight injuries per day across New York.
Car seats are particularly important. From 2011-15, 1,896 1-year-olds were seriously injured in car crashes. Here is information on car seat checks this weekend:
As Upstate New York’s largest member services organization, AAA Western and Central New York provides more than 887,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive related services. Since its founding in 1900, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.