The Secret to a Safer Summer Travel Season

By Debbie Hersman

Today, as we enter into the busy Memorial Day weekend I am visiting an elementary school in Northern Virginia to talk about highway safety. Did you know that as we mark the start of summer, AAA estimates that more than 34 million travelers will travel at least 50 miles from home over the Memorial Day weekend?  And, of those travelers, more than 30 million are expected to use an automobile.

Did you know that car crashes are the number one killer of children ages 1 to 12? I’m sad to say that, on average, 2 children are killed and 325 more are injured in car crashes every single day. With this in mind, it’s essential that children be properly restrained on every trip. Children should ride in an age and size appropriate child safety seat or booster seat until an adult seat belt fits them properly – at 4’9” tall. Further, all children should ride in the back seat.

Earlier this month, Arizona became the 48th state to require the use of child restraints for older children. Children riding on Arizona’s roads will be safer now that this life-saving law has been enacted. Only two states — Florida and South Dakota — have yet to bring their child restraint laws closer in line with best practices. But parents – don’t wait for a law to make the right choice. Use a child safety seat or booster seat until your child is big enough for a seat belt.

For more information on how to best restrain your children visit Parents Central. (http://www.safercar.gov/parents/CarSeats.htm).

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