Correct use of seat belts can save majority of kids' lives
A new study has revealed that the correct use of safety equipment will help save a significant number of children's lives.
According to the study, 9 out of 10 children are seriously or fatally injured in traffic accidents because they are incorrectly restrained or because of loose objects in cars.
The study is part of the research project 'Barn i bil' (Eng: Children in cars), a collaboration between the NIPH and Oslo University Hospital. As part of the project, a roadside study of normal traffic on Norwegian high-speed roads also took place which showed that every third child was incorrectly restrained.
The results show that accidents where children are seriously injured mainly occur on high speed roads, in weekend traffic and most often follow frontal collisions on roads without crash barriers between carriageways, while more than 9 out of 10 children who were seriously or fatally injured in traffic accidents were incorrectly restrained or were hit by loose objects in the car.
The researchers also revealed that the most common error is that the seatbelt is misplaced, with the shoulder belt under the arm or behind the back, or the lap belt is placed too high on the abdomen and loose objects also cause damage to passengers, often indirectly when heavy luggage shifts, displacing the rear seat where the child is sitting, while correctly secured children have a low risk of injury, even in a heavy collision.
Skjerven-Martinsen said that adults want to protect their children but they may lack knowledge of what can happen if the equipment is not used properly.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the incorrect usage of child restraint in the vehicle, related to the child's height, age and type of equipment. In this way, they can give advice to parents, authorities and particularly the motor industry.
(Posted on 08-08-2014)