BATAVIA, N.Y. — "Eighty-five percent of the seats out on New York roadways today are installed with some sort of error," said Trooper Michael Swarthout, Traffic Safety Officer.
To help change this statistic, State Police, other law enforcement agencies and highway safety professionals are educating parents and caregivers, and they are making sure car seats are installed correctly.
Swarthout says this is where most car seats are installed incorrectly:
"If you are putting your kid in a seat and it's moving around this much, that's too much," Swarthout said, while giving the seat a shake, "you need to add pressure and tighten it down. The last part is to attach the tether, which is on the top of the seat to the anchor point."
There are many other things to know about a car seat besides how to install it. For instance, car seats can expire.
"Seats generally expire in six years with the date of manufacture, because it's high impact ABS plastic and it assumes you had it in your car for six seasons, hot-cold-hot-cold, and that can weaken the plastic, so if you crash you can actually break the harness lose from the seat," said Swarthout.
Car seats are meant to keep children safe but without proper knowledge children can get hurt. and that's why during this week, checks are being set up around the area where people can go and ask technicians to check that their seat is in correctly.
"In some cases, we have even replaced the seat if the seat if they've got one that's damaged, broke or it needs to be done so the person can head out on the roadway safely," said Swarthout.
While it's not illegal for children to sit in the front seat, Swarthout says its very dangerous and if you have a choice, anyone under the age of 13 should be sitting in the back.
"The reason is because their spine and head and neck area is not developed enough to take a hit from an airbag," said Swarthout.
He says if you do not have an option then you should turn off the airbag.
To find out where car seat checks are in your area or any other information regarding child safety Swarthout encourages people to lclick here. He says the SafeKids webiste can tell you anyone in your area that can help.