Child Passenger Safety Needs and Resources in Michigan

This study was performed to characterize child passenger safety resources in Michigan and to analyze the impact of Michigan’s child passenger safety technicians (CPSTs), who are certified to instruct caregivers on how to correctly use child restraints. The objective was to provide OHSP with the information to guide equitable distribution of child passenger safety resources throughout Michigan. Analyses used existing data from the 2010 U.S. Census, the American Community Survey 2009-2013, Michigan State Police crash reports from 2010 through 2014, Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) lists of certified CPSTs and their locations from 2012 to 2015, OHSP records of child restraint system distribution, and child passenger safety checklist form data from Safe Kids Michigan. Counties were considered areas at risk (with greatest need for child passenger safety resources) based on a composite risk score that included population characteristics including minority race, Hispanic/non-English speaking, poverty, and low educational attainment and crash-related injuries or suboptimal child passenger restraint behaviors associated with a crash adjusted for the child population ≤9 years. Needs and resources were assessed for the 83 counties and 15 OHSP Traffic Safety Regions in Michigan. A survey of CPSTs in Michigan was conducted to gather data on the workforce characteristics. Results show that counties with the highest risk scores are concentrated in the southern Lower Peninsula of Michigan and the counties with the largest number of CPSTs are in the Lower Peninsula. The total number of CPSTs in Michigan has been stable around 950, with 140 to 260 new CPSTs in a given year. Only Keweenaw, Alcona, and Montmorency counties had no CPSTs who reported living or working there. The majority of CPSTs self-identified as white race. Spanish was the most common non-English language spoken by CPSTs. The largest proportions of CPSTs worked in law enforcement, social work/health education, and healthcare. Of the CPSTs considered “high-activity”, most were both paid and volunteered for seat checks and many reported an affiliation with a Safe Kids Coalition. Car seat inspection (or fitting) stations and events were offered primarily in counties throughout the southern Lower Peninsula, with the largest number in metro Detroit and Kent counties. The number of children ≤9 years per CPST per county was lowest in Gogebic (166) and highest in Jackson (4618). Forty counties had 1,000 or more children per CPST and were distributed throughout the state. Data from 32,411 Safe Kids Michigan seat checks revealed that nearly half resulted in a change in restraint type, installation method, or location in the vehicle. Half of seat checks included the distribution of a child restraint system. The most services per child ≤9 years were provided in the following OHSP regions: Thumb Area, West Michigan, South Central, Traverse Bay Area, Huron Valley, and Upper Peninsula Regions. The fewest services per child ≤9 years were provided in the Northern Lower, Southwest, Oakland, and Macomb/St. Clair Regions. In conclusion, the child passenger safety needs are not evenly distributed throughout the state. There is wide variation in the current distribution of child passenger safety resources. Many counties with the most resources have a greater unmet need than lower-resourced counties due to the large total number of children and children considered at risk living within them.

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute

    2901 Baxter Road
    Ann Arbor, MI  United States  48109-2150

    Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning


    University of Michigan

    Department of Pediatrics
    Child Health Evaluation and Research (CHEAR) Center
    Ann Arbor, MI  United States  48109
  • Authors:
    • Macy, Michelle L
    • Brines, Shannon
    • Klinich, Kathleen D
    • Manary, Miriam A
    • Gebremariam, Acham
    • Teddy, Amy J
    • Bingham, C Raymond
  • Publication Date: 2016-9-30


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 104p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01642581
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: UMTRI-2016-19
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 28 2017 1:00PM