Tough new standards for what makes a child restraint safe have been introduced by the NSW Centre for Road Safety and NRMA Motoring and Services, alongside 15 new car seat ratings.
The ratings are available on the Child Restraint Evaluation Program (CREP) website, which is an important resource for safety-conscious Australians, according to general manager of the NSW Centre for Road Safety Marg Prendergast.
“The CREP website gives parents and carers a simple guide to what makes the grade when it comes to the safest way to travel with their kids in the car,” said Ms Prendergast in a statement released January 16 by Transport for NSW.
“Using a 5 Star rating system similar to the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), parents can make the most informed decision when considering child restraints.”
Only two of the 15 car seats tested gained the highest possible five star rating.
Higher standards of testing now include scores for knee forward movement in frontal impacts and side impact head protection.
Ms Prendergast highlighted the importance of ensuring that children continue to use their restraint until they outgrow it.
She added that not choosing the right restraint could have tragic consequences.
“A research study funded by NSW Centre for Road Safety has shown that children who are restrained incorrectly are up to seven times more likely to be seriously injured in a crash than children who are restrained correctly,” said Ms Prendergast.
NRMA vehicle safety expert Jack Haley warned that parents “may not get a second chance” to ensure their children are car-safe.
Transport for NSW reports that in 2011 alone, five child passengers under the age of seven were killed in fatal car accidents on NSW roads, while a further 395 children were injured.
“It’s your responsibility when you put your kids in a car to make sure the restraint is correctly secured to the child and to your vehicle,” said Mr Haley.
The CREP website also includes information for parents on how to fit a child restraint into a vehicle, types of restraints and advice on buying second hand car seats.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a car accident, you may be able to claim compensation for you medical expenses and more.
An expert car accident lawyer can help you to find out whether you are entitled to compensation under the NSW motor accidents compensation scheme.
What’s more, with no win no fee lawyers you won’t be charged unless your claim is successful.