Think back to when you were a child. When you rode in the car of a friend’s parent, did they have the same safety standards as your own parents? Did they ever say to you, “Oh, don’t worry, you don’t have to wear a seatbelt?” If so, did you tell your parents?

A new study shows that parents are not always consistent with their children’s safety when it comes to carpooling or road-sharing. They should be, however: Sadly, car accidents are the leading cause of death for those between the age of 3 and 14.

The number of deaths can be reduced significantly if children are wearing proper restraint devices, including seatbelts, and if they are in child safety seats. Using such seats can reduce infant deaths by as much as 71 percent.

According to EmaxHealth, a study conducted by a pediatrician took a close look at 681 parents. Many of the questions concerned child restraints. 76 percent of parents with children between the ages of 4 and 8 used child safety seats. However, only 79 percent of those that use the seats said they consistently asked another driver to use a seat for their child when carpooling or ride-sharing.

Another interesting statistic is that only 55 percent of respondents would have their child in a safety seat if the child’s friend was not using one. Clearly, carpooling creates inconsistency for parents, and that’s a real problem. Every child needs to be buckled up in a child safety seat, no matter the circumstance, in order to prevent serious injuries.

Source: EmaxHealth, “Parents not consistent about safety when carpooling,” Denise Reynolds, Jan. 30, 2012