Federal Seatbelt Campaign Targets Parents of Tweens Who Don't Buckle Up
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wants tweens to buckle up.
The agency announced last week a national advertising campaign aimed at parents of children ages eight to 14 to make sure their kids are consistently and properly wearing their seatbelts.
A recent series of NHTSA focus groups found seatbelt use can fall by the wayside when shuttling kids to and from school and activities, when running short errands, or when parents are a bit worn down by the daily grind.
Seatbelts save lives and NHTSA data show that as children get older they are less likely to buckle up. Over the past 5 years, 1,552 kids between the ages of eight and 14 died in car, SUV and van crashes – of those who died, almost half were unbelted.
The percentage of child passengers who die while riding unrestrained generally increases with age and is most pronounced among 13- and 14-year-olds regardless of seating position.
"Kids will always test the limits with their parents or caregivers, but there is no room for compromise when it comes to wearing a seatbelt," said NHTSA Administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind. "Sounding like a broken record can save your child's life. Kids need constant reminders and this is one that can't be skipped."
Tweens test the limits, because it's how they learn and grow. The focus groups confirmed that it's critical that they absorb the message now that the car doesn't move until everyone in the vehicle is buckled up. After a while, it won't be a fight; it will be second nature. And it is a lifesaving lesson that they'll carry with them always.