After years of wrangling with heavy child-safety seats, Latch systems and five-point harnesses, booster seats seem so "easy." At their most basic, these car seats raise up a child so a seat belt is positioned correctly to protect them in a crash. However, even this easy car seat is being used incorrectly — or not used at all — by parents.
A new study from Safe Kids Worldwide found that 9 out of 10 parents move their child out of the booster seat too soon. Based on a national online survey of 1,000 parents of kids between ages 4 and 10, the study also found that 70 percent of parents didn't know when a child should be moved out of a booster seat.
The study, which was partially funded by a General Motors Foundation grant and released during Child Passenger Safety Week, also found that 1 in 5 parents with children in carpools "bend the rules" when they're the driver, allowing kids to ride in the car without their seat belts or without their car seats. One in 4 parent respondents said they don't make their child buckle up on every ride.