DOT Launches ‘Choose the Right Seat’ for Children in Cars

NHTSA is also launching Parents Central, a new one-stop-shop website with tools and resources for keeping children safe in and around cars.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced the launch of new public service announcements  designed to raise awareness about the importance of choosing the right child safety seat and making sure it is installed properly.

The ads, released in partnership with the Ad Council, promote car seat safety among parents of children up to age 12. Data from the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show an estimated 8,959 lives were saved by child restraint systems from 1975 to 2008.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages one through 12 years old. From 2006 to 2010, 4,028 children aged 12 and younger were killed in crashes involving passenger vehicles. Another estimated 660,000 children were injured in crashes – a figure greater than the entire population of Boston, Massachusetts.

Working with the Ad Council as part of an ongoing campaign to ensure child car safety, NHTSA unveiled new Public Service Announcements this morning that will air on television, radio, online and in outdoor advertising nationwide. “The Right Seat” effort aims to make sure all parents and caregivers are properly securing children ages 12 and under in the right car restraint (rear-facing, forward-facing, booster, seat belt) for their age and size. Targeting parents and caregivers who already use car seats, the key message of the PSAs is to remind parents to “make sure their child is in the right car seat.”

The English-language PSAs were created pro bono by advertising agency Gotham, Inc. The PSAs will air in advertising time that will be entirely donated by the media and will be distributed to more than 33,000 media outlets in the United States. Spanish-language PSAs on child seat safety will be released in early May 2012.

Coinciding with the release of the new PSAs, NHTSA is also launching “Parents Central,” a new one-stop-shop website with tools and resources for keeping children safe in and around cars.

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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