WASHINGTON (WKOW) -- According to a new study, not every parent is buckling their child up for safety.
As part of National Child Passenger Safety Week, Safe Kids Worldwide released a new study Monday, called "Buckle Up: Every Ride, Every Time." The study found an alarming percentage of parents are not always taking the time to ensure their children are safely secured in vehicles.
Safe Kids Worldwide surveyed 1,002 parents and caregivers of children ages 10 and under, and one in four admitted to sometimes driving without buckling up their kids. Younger parents, ages 18 to 29, as well as those with graduate degrees and higher incomes, were more likely to cut corners. Men were also more willing than women to bend the rules.
Some parents involved in the survey use not buckling up as a reward. Others keep the seat belt off during short drives.
"The number of children dying in car crashes has declined by 58 percent since 1987 but this research shows that the trend toward buckling up kids on every ride could be heading in the wrong direction," said Kate Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide, in a press release. "It only takes one time to be riding in a vehicle without buckling up for a life to be changed forever. During Child Passenger Safety week, we want to remind all parents that it's important to buckle up their kids every time, on every ride."
A third of the 680 children, age 12 and under, that were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2011, were riding without car seats or seat belts, according to the study. In addition, older children are more often unrestrained in fatal car crashes compared to younger children.
"As kids grow up, it can be easy to forget the importance of taking time to buckle up, especially on a quick or overnight trip," said Mike Robinson, GM vice president of Sustainability and Global Regulatory Affairs, a GM Foundation board member. "Unfortunately, exceptions can lead to tragedies. The research findings underscore the importance of remaining vigilant about buckling up throughout a child's lifetime. There is no reason important enough to take the risk."
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