New study reports 37 percent of Texas infants, toddlers buckled improperly or not at all
AUSTIN — In an effort to help Texas drivers keep their child passengers properly secured, the Texas Department of Transportation today announced it is offering free, year-round child safety seat inspections conducted by certified technicians. The inspections are available by appointment at each of TxDOT’s 25 district offices. The announcement coincides with National Child Passenger Safety Week, Sept. 15-21.
“Buckling young children into safety seats is the law, so TxDOT is pleased to offer this service in an effort to help keep them safe,” said Phil Wilson, TxDOT executive director. “To ensure optimal safety, it’s important those seats are properly secured and that parents are using the right seat based on their child’s age, height and weight.”
Texas law states: children younger than 8 years of age, unless taller than 4 feet 9 inches, must ride in safety seats. Nationally, three out of four safety seats are used incorrectly, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A new study by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) found nearly nine out of 10 Texas children were riding in safety seats, but many were not properly buckled. The new study also revealed 37 percent of infants and toddlers in Texas were secured incorrectly — or not at all — when riding in a vehicle.
The TTI study also reported the Texas cities with the highest rates of correct child safety seat use are Austin (83 percent), Tyler (78 percent), Fort Worth (77 percent), Bryan/College Station (75 percent) and Waco (73 percent).
Cities with the lowest rates of correct child safety seat use are Brownsville (26 percent), Amarillo (37 percent), El Paso (37 percent), Lubbock (44 percent) and Houston (59 percent).
TxDOT’s new interactive seat finder at TexasClickItorTicket.com can help drivers find the proper safety seats for their children. Visit the site and click on “Child Safety” to begin the search for an appropriate safety seat. To schedule a safety seat inspection, call a TxDOT district office or find your local contact at TexasClickItorTicket.com.
For media inquiries, contact TxDOT Media Relations at MediaRelations@txdot.gov or (512) 463-8700.
The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, rail, and public transportation across the state. TxDOT and its 11,000 employees are committed to working with others to provide safe and reliable transportation solutions for Texas by maintaining a safe system, addressing congestion, connecting Texas communities, and being a Best in Class state agency. Find out more at TxDOT.gov. Fan us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.