The Safety Board has recognized for many years that traffic crashes are one of this nation's most serious transportation safety problems. More than 90 percent of all transportation related deaths each year result from highway crashes. Traffic crashes are also the leading cause of death to children, and data indicate that nearly half of crashes involving children occur within 7 minutes from home. Injuries and deaths for children in the 4 to 8 age range remain high because they are either unrestrained or restrained in systems too advanced for their physical development. According to data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), from 1994 to 2000, 3,531 children in this age group were killed while riding in motor vehicles. More than 84 percent of child passengers in this age group who died were unrestrained or in an adult seatbelt. For this age group in Ohio, 127 children died while riding in motor vehicles and 92 percent were unrestrained or in an adult seatbelt.
Simply restraining a child makes it 3 times less likely that the child will be injured in a crash. Placing the child in the rear seat makes it an additional 2 times less likely that the child will be injured. But the best protection for children in the 4 to 8 age range is to place the child in the rear with belt-positioning booster seats.