During October-November 1977 the National Roads and Motorists' Association (N.R.M.A.) conducted a survey on the use of restraints by children in automobiles. The results of the survey have been compared with a similar survey carried out in 1976. 1300 vehicles containing 1677 children were observed-1040 of the children were classified as between the ages of 6 months and 4 years (child seat age) and 637 of the children were classified as between the ages of 4 and 7 years (child harness age). Restraint systems were available to 85.5% of the children observed. Child restraints (child seats and child harnesses) were available to 48.7% of the children and adult lap or lap-sash belts were available to a further 36.8% of the children. Adult seat belts, if firmly adjusted, are considered to give a reasonable degree of protection to children one year old or older. Legislation now in effect in N.S.W. requires children to wear a suitable restraint where it is available. For the purpose of the legislation an adult seat belt is considered a suitable restraint for children one year old or older. If a restraint (adult or child) is not available the child must ride in the rear seating compartment of the vehicle. Only 48.9% of the children wore a restraint (43.8% wore a child restraint and only 5.1% wore an adult restraint) and only 43.5% of the children were considered adequately protected. Some restraints were unapproved and others incorrectly adjusted. 39.5% of the children were adequately restrained by a child restraint and 4.0% by an adult seat belt. Parents apparently failed to understand that if a suitable child restraint was not available but an adult seat belt was, that belt had to be worn by the child if the child was one year old or older. The number of unapproved child seats had decreased from 104 in the 1976 survey to 69 in the present survey. Although 58.4% of the 6 months to 4 year old age group were adequately protected only 19.3% of the 4 to 7 year old age group were adequately protected. 49 babies in bassinets were observed and an attempt to restrain the bassinets had been made in 16 (32.7%) of the cases. Comparison of the 1976 and 1977 surveys has shown that the number of children adequately restrained has increased by 10.5% but remains relatively low at 43.5% indicating that the new legislation has had some effect on the restraining of children. /Author/

  • Corporate Authors:

    Australian Natl Roads & Motorists Association

    Traffic and Safety Department
    Sydney, New South Wales,   Australia 
  • Authors:
    • FLEMING, D
  • Publication Date: 1977-11

Media Info

  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 36 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00189987
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Safety Council Safety Research Info Serv
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 11 1979 12:00AM