Community organizations join forces for car seat inspection event
Saturday’s event marked the close of National Child Passenger Safety Week.
The free event took place at the Brazos Center in Bryan.
Event organizers say past car seat safety events have had an enormous impact over its 16-year existence. According to Daniel Stark Injury Lawyers 1,836 inspections have been conducted, and 1,123 new car seats have been donated and installed. They also say 516 unsafe car seats have been taken off Texas roadways.
“This is our 16th year doing the Car Seat Safety Awareness Initiative with Texas A&M AgriLife. We have been doing this because it is very passionate for us to give back to the community. Our founding partner, Danny Daniel, whenever he was starting his family years ago, was having a difficult time getting a car seat in and wasn’t sure if it was installed correctly,” said Linda McMillan, Daniel Stark Public Communications Director.
“He was just looking for a resource to confirm what he was doing was correct. And in the midst of all of that, he was like, I’m sure other families are having the same problem, having the same frustrations of getting a car seat in safely. And so, he went back to Daniel Stark and started working with the team over there and figuring out like, how can we give back to the community in a way that keeps families safe and secure,” Linda McMillan added.
Saturday’s event marked the close of National Child Passenger Safety Week. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a total of 710 children (under 13) were killed in passenger vehicles in 2021, and more than 100,000 were injured. · NHTSA estimates that from 1975 to 2017, child restraints have saved the lives of 11,606 children under the age of 5. National Child Passenger Safety Week is observed every year beginning on September 17.
The event was co-sponsored by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Passenger Safety and KidSafe Initiative which is a Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) funded program aimed at spreading awareness regarding child passenger safety and responsible driving practices throughout the state. The program’s target audience spans from preschool-age children to adults, including members of law enforcement agencies.
“Today is National Car Seat Check Saturday. So all over the world, certified technicians and instructors are checking car seats. We see about a 46% misuse rate nationally. Locally when we inspect car seats, we see about a 98% misuse rate. So it’s a lot higher. Misuse can be anywhere from the child not being in the correct car seat within the weight, age, and height requirement of that particular car seat. Misuse can be also the harness not being used properly,” said Texas A&M AgriLife program manager Gina Rodriguez.
“Families just aren’t always aware of the proper use of their car seat. That’s why we see a lot of that misuse. So today we have brought in child passenger safety technicians and instructors from all over Central Texas, here in the Brazos County area, to inspect car seats for families,” said Rodriguez.
Licensed inspectors and technicians from across the state were on hand to conduct safety assessments of car seats. Those who did not pass the safety inspection received a brand-new car seat. Daniel Stark Injury Lawyers say proper use of child safety seats aids in reducing the risk of injury and death, leading to lowered medical costs, avoidance of lost future earnings, and improved quality of life after a collision.
“This adds up to an estimated $2,159 per child age 0 to 4, $2,606 per child age 4 to 7 for new seats distributed, and $622 per child for seat misuse corrected with an assumed 75% continued use,” said Daniel Stark Injury Lawyers. “Based on the estimations above, the total economic impact for the 204 inspections at the event on September 23rd, 2017, is $267,974.”
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