Badly fitted child car seats putting children's safety at risk

New investigation finds only 15% of child car seats are fitted properly

A new study carried out by What Car? discovered that eight out of ten drivers are putting their children’s safety at risk by not making sure that their child safety seats are fitted correctly.
What Car? Magazine, along with Leicestershire Police and Child Seat Safety Ltd, conducted a roadside investigation and found that only 15% of the child safety seats looked at were properly fitted and safe enough to carry the child in it.
In total, 51 cars were stopped and checked randomly as part of the investigation. 85 seats were looked at overall and out of those, only 31 of them were fitted properly, however when the seat was checked to make sure it was suitable to carry the child sitting in it, the figure fell to a low 13.

New investigation finds only 15% of child car seats are fitted properly

Badly fitted child car seats putting children’s safety at risk – INTEL FREE PRESS/CREATIVE COMMONS

Of the seats that failed the inspection, 74% could be put right at the time of the inspection but four of them, or 5% of those checked, were classed as unfit for purpose – two were confiscated on the spot and replaced with a correct seat before the journey was allowed to continue.
Cars seats with ISOFIX attachments that were checked all passed the inspection, it was the ones that used the seatbelt for restraint that created the biggest problems.
The biggest issue was with the seatbelt or harness which restrains the seat, which accounted for nearly a quarter of the problems; they were either twisted, too loose or not positioned correctly.
Over 16% needed the seat belt re-routed, whilst another 11% had to have adjustments made to the headrest for better protection for the child.
Editor of What Car? Steve Huntingford, said the investigation showed just how many drivers carrying children in their vehicle are not ensuring the seats are fitted correctly, putting the safety of their children at risk.
Mr Huntingford said there was confusion amongst many when it came to how to fit a child car seat correctly, suggesting parents seek professional advice on how to fit the seat at the time of purchase.
If you’re stopped, checked and the child car seat is found to be fitted incorrectly, you risk being handed a £100 fixed penalty notice but worse than a fine, your child/children could be at risk of serious injury, or death in the event of an accident if the car seat they are travelling in is not correctly fitted.
“The evidence from this study was that the overwhelming majority of drivers were exposing the children in their cars to significantly increased risk. It is important to raise awareness of this issue and to offer parents and other drivers carrying children the correct information and guidance,” said Julie Dagnall, co-director at Child Seat Safety.
The July issue of What Car? which is available now has the full report.
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