By Chuck Mai, AAA
Do you know the best practices for traveling with children in your car? This quiz will test your knowledge.
1. Children should begin using adult seat belts in cars:
a. When they stop feeding with a bottle
b. When they can walk
c. By first grade
d. When they’re at least 4’9” tall, so seat belts can fit properly
2. The leading cause of death among U.S. children under 14 is:
a. Chicken pox
d. Car crashes
3. The safest place to position a rear-facing child safety seat is:
a. In the front passenger seat, so the driver can attend to the baby
b. In the back passenger-side seat, so the driver can reach the baby, if necessary
c. Directly behind the driver, so the child doesn’t distract him or her
d. In the back middle seat, which is the safest spot in the car
4. What percentage of child safety seats are NOT installed correctly?
5. The first child safety seat came out in 1962. What year did Tennessee become the first state to enact regulations regarding child safety seat use?
6. TRUE or FALSE: Children do not need to use booster seats if they’re riding to school in car pools.
How did you do? For questions 1-5, if you got “D” for each answer, you’re on the road to keeping all the kids in your car safe. For question 6, the answer is FALSE. Whether they’re in carpools or not, children must meet Oklahoma’s restraint requirements, which state:
• All children under age 6 must be properly restrained in a child passenger seat;
• All children age 6 through age 12 must be properly restrained in either a child passenger seat or the vehicle’s seat belt system;
• Plus, although it is not yet a state law in Oklahoma, AAA recommends children age 4 up to 4’ 9” tall ride in booster seats and not be restrained by the car’s seat belts. Your car’s seat belts are designed for adults and can actually do more harm than good to a child in the event of a crash.
Place children from birth to 2 years of age in rear-facing child car seats. For children 2-to 4-years-old, use front-facing child seats. Check the height and weight limits on child safety and booster seats before moving your child to the next level. Safety experts recommend all children under 13 sit in the back seat and away from airbags. Learn more at www.aaafoundation.org.
In addition to the above, Oklahoma law also states that seat belts are required for the driver and all front seat passengers age 13 and older. Enforcement of this law is primary, which means officers can stop violators for just that one offense alone.