Enter your ZIP code:

Buckles: Use Them for Safety, Not for Show

by Penny M. Hagerman

When someone mentions a buckle, what comes to mind? That big shiny thing on the end of your belt? The clasps that fasten your boots?

Though buckles like those look nice and help keep shoes and clothing in place, we’re talking about a different kind of belt altogether: one that protects your kids when they’re riding in the car, whether in a car seat, booster seat or the same cushy seat mom and dad travel in.

Misinformed Parents Means Unsafe Kids

Our children are our most precious cargo. But according to a recent survey by GMAC Insurance, more than one-third of parents are misinformed about proper child safety restraint procedures and don’t know how to properly buckle their kids up in the car.

If child safety seats confuse you and you can never quite figure out exactly how to buckle your kids up correctly—forward facing, backward facing, front seat or back seat—you’re not alone. Consider these facts, documented by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and GMAC:
 
  • 73 percent of child restraints (buckles and car seats) aren’t used properly.
  • Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among children ages four to 12.
  • Half of all children newborn to seven years of age killed in car crashes are not buckled into child safety seats.
  • Child safety seats installed and used correctly reduce fatal injury in crashes by 71 percent for kids under one year old and 54 percent for those one to four years old.
  • Compared with adult seat belts, child safety seats reduce kids’ risk of death by 21 percent.
 Clearing the Confusion
 
So what’s the key to buckling them up right so your kids stay safe in the car? Rather than relying solely on age, the secret is in gauging their height, weight and body size—as well as their age—to get the proper safety fit.
 
Though each state maintains and governs its own child safety restraint laws, we recommend this information from the NHTSA as a general guideline:
 
Age/Size
Proper Positioning
Infants to 1-year-olds weighing at least 20 pounds
Place in rear-facing child safety seats buckled securely into the back seat
1-year-olds weighing at least 20 pounds to 4-year-olds weighing at least 40 pounds
Place in forward-facing child safety seats buckled securely into the back seat
4-year-olds weighing at least 40 pounds to 8-year-olds approximately 4’9” tall and weighing over 80 pounds
Place in booster seats buckled securely into the back seat
 
8-year-olds approximately 4’9” tall and weighing over 80 pounds to 13-year-olds
Place in adult seat belts facing forward in the back seat, making sure the lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the chest
 
Tips for Safe Riding
 
  1. Choose safety seats wisely. The NHTSA compares 101 child safety and booster seats here to help you find the one that fits your needs best.
  2. Read the instructions. Make sure you install and buckle your children’s seats properly by reading the installation instructions that come in the box.
  3. Get help. Insurers like GMAC, Allstate and Geico, along with local and state non-profit organizations, sponsor free child safety seat checks at least once a year. Ask your insurer how you can participate.
  4. Be an example. Always buckle up in front of your kids. It will make restraining them in their car or booster seats easier—and help keep everyone safe.
 
Protect Your Kids: Buckle them up!
 
When it comes to buckles, those that protect your children as they ride in the car are definitely the most important.
 
So don’t be confused about how to buckle them up right. Follow these guidelines, talk to your insurer and don’t be ashamed to ask for help. Your kids’ lives are at stake! 
List of Articles
No. Subject Author Views
85 Rental Car Insurance: Do You Really Need It? youcomparequotes 17609
84 Auto Insurance: The Secret Weapon for Saving at the Pump youcomparequotes 17938
83 Getting the Cheapest Car Insurance in Your State youcomparequotes 16885
82 Play It Safe for Cheap Truck Insurance Rates youcomparequotes 17319
81 How to Get Discount Auto Insurance youcomparequotes 17689
80 Insurance for Van Lovers youcomparequotes 17373
79 Car Insurance That Fits Your Needs youcomparequotes 17090
78 Online Car Insurance Quotes in 5 Easy Steps youcomparequotes 17274
77 Getting Insured with an Online Auto Insurance Quote youcomparequotes 18291
76 Home and Auto Insurance: Sure-Fire Protection in Unsure Times youcomparequotes 17095
75 How to Keep Teen Car Insurance Quotes at Bay youcomparequotes 19332
74 Choosing Cheap Online Car Insurance That Fits Your Life youcomparequotes 17674
73 Auto Insurance from InsureMe youcomparequotes 17593
72 Car Insurance Comparisons Save You Time & Hassle youcomparequotes 17953
71 Car Insurance Companies & InsureMe Save You Money youcomparequotes 18344
70 Buying and Insuring a New Car youcomparequotes 16724
69 Compare Auto Insurance Rates youcomparequotes 17060
68 Safety Measures Lower Auto Insurance Quotes youcomparequotes 16563
67 Getting Car Insurance Quotes, from Beginning to End youcomparequotes 16661
66 The Car Insurance Quote & Ratings Factors youcomparequotes 17149
65 What's Behind Your Auto Insurance Quotes? youcomparequotes 17263
64 How Cheap Car Insurance Can Save You Money youcomparequotes 16591
63 How to Reduce Car Insurance Prices youcomparequotes 17139
62 Getting Insured with Free Car Insurance Quotes youcomparequotes 17334
61 Auto Owners Insurance & Costly Driving Mistakes youcomparequotes 16647
60 Auto Insurance Cost & Your Ride youcomparequotes 17144
59 How No Fault Auto Insurance Works--or Doesn't youcomparequotes 16920
58 How to Get the Cheapest Car Insurance youcomparequotes 16828
57 Selecting a Car Insurance Company youcomparequotes 17530
56 Finding New Car Insurance Following Cancellation or Nonrenewal youcomparequotes 17137
55 Get the Best Car Insurance Rates Around youcomparequotes 17378
54 Factors That Affect Your Car Insurance Quotes youcomparequotes 16416
53 Child Safety Belts Keep Kids Safe youcomparequotes 17080
52 Speeding and Car Insurance Rates youcomparequotes 16779
51 Not At Fault Car Insurance & Accidents youcomparequotes 16920
50 State Auto Insurance Becoming Available youcomparequotes 17209
49 Auto Insurance Gap Narrowed by Insurance youcomparequotes 17653
48 Car Insurance & Roommates or Family Members youcomparequotes 17234
47 PIP and No-Fault Auto Insurance Reform youcomparequotes 16930
46 PIP and No-Fault Auto Insurance Reform youcomparequotes 16834
45 SUVs: Minor Collision, Major Damage youcomparequotes 17386
44 Severe Weather Driving Tips youcomparequotes 17156
43 Avoiding Aggressive Drivers youcomparequotes 18016
42 Safety Tips & Car Insurance for Teens youcomparequotes 17080
41 Insurance for Cars: It's Your Choice youcomparequotes 17038
40 Car Insurance Quotes Save You Money youcomparequotes 17099
39 Finding & Comparing Auto Insurance Specialists youcomparequotes 17959
38 Safety Features Save Lives & Money youcomparequotes 16858
37 Curbing Auto Insurance Prices youcomparequotes 16397
36 Teen Auto Insurance youcomparequotes 16682
35 Car Insurance: Your Questions Answered youcomparequotes 16733
34 How to Buy Car Insurance youcomparequotes 17366
33 Vehicle Insurance: Covering Any Kind of Car youcomparequotes 16645
32 Truck Insurance for Your Pride & Joy youcomparequotes 16439
31 How Insuring a Used Car Can Save You Money youcomparequotes 17283
30 All-in-One Policies Insure Car & Home Together youcomparequotes 17180
29 Credit Scores & Car Insurance youcomparequotes 17789
28 Classic Car Insurance Protects Your Relic Ride youcomparequotes 16303
27 Reducing SUV Insurance Rates youcomparequotes 16821
26 Good Driver Car Insurance Rewards Safe Driving youcomparequotes 17338
25 How to File an Auto Insurance Claim youcomparequotes 16974
24 Avoiding Deer Collisions While Driving youcomparequotes 17444
23 Cheap Auto Insurance through Safe Driving youcomparequotes 16794
22 Auto Insurance Basics That Save youcomparequotes 17201
21 It's Official - Men Are Terrible Drivers youcomparequotes 18687
20 Car Insurance Quote Saves Money and Stretches Income youcomparequotes 17452
19 Auto Insurance Quote Heavily Dependent on Driver Behavior youcomparequotes 16977
18 Car Insurance Quotes Separate Fact from Fiction youcomparequotes 17237
17 How What You Drive Affects Your Auto Insurance Quotes youcomparequotes 17005
16 Cheaper Car Insurance in 8 Easy Steps youcomparequotes 17361
15 Save Hundreds on Your Car Insurance Without Switching to Geico youcomparequotes 16850
14 Your Options in Motorcycle Insurance youcomparequotes 16825
13 The Advantages of RV Insurance youcomparequotes 17200
12 Enjoying the Classics: How to Insure Your Old Relic youcomparequotes 34694
11 Insuring Your Teen Driver youcomparequotes 16958
10 The SR22 & Car Insurance youcomparequotes 16454
9 Auto Insurance & Generic Parts youcomparequotes 17163
8 A Trip Gone Wrong: Summer Breakdown on the Road youcomparequotes 18285
7 Drowsy Drivers, Wake Up! youcomparequotes 16462
6 Cheap Car Insurance Protection You Deserve youcomparequotes 17820
5 Top 8 Safety Picks for Car Insurance Discounts youcomparequotes 17266
4 Drivers: 7 Important Facts about Texting That Could Save Your Life youcomparequotes 21334
» Buckles: Use Them for Safety, Not for Show youcomparequotes 16767
2 Auto Insurance Quotes youcomparequotes 17227
1 Why You Should Give Thanks -- And Stay Home This Year youcomparequotes 17420
XE Login