Given that cars are one of the most dangerous places for kids, it makes sense that the Ontario government has mandated the use of car seats for kids.
And the injury and death stats are kind of startling: In the US, 650 kids were killed in vehicle accidents and 148,000 were injured. It’s estimated that 618,000 kids were in cars without restraint use at some point during 2011. They also estimated that 72% of kid’s booster or car seats were not installed properly.
The stats on car seat use are compelling: car seat use reduces death by 71% for toddlers and 45% for kids 4 to 8 years of age. Stats also show many drivers refuse to wear seatbelts, and often their children are also not belted in properly.
Complying is easy:
The car seat must be CSA approved and installed according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
See the Ontario Government’s guidelines for child seat selection and installation.
In Canada your child can begin using a seatbelt alone once they are one of the following:
The Ontario government doesn’t provide visual depictions of important guidelines, but fortunately we have this infographic from the US as a guide.
If police determine that you didn’t secure or you improperly secured your kids in car seats, you could be charged. If you’re convicted, you’ll face a $110 fine and have two demerit points applied to your driving record. And this may affect your insurance rates.
Are you driving distracted? A lot of people and it’s a habit that could lead to a bad accident and higher insurance rates. Police are issuing texting and driving tickets because the danger is there.
Driving with care and consideration remains the best long term plan to reduce your auto insurance rates. Some cars and trucks have lower rates as well and those with added safety features may benefit.