A fifth of parents and grandparents don’t put children in child seats

Concerns after a high proportion of parents and grandparents say they don’t always use child seats for youngsters

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross long-term - final report car seat

More than a fifth of parents and grandparents who take children in their car don’t use child seats, new research has revealed.

Of the 605 parents and grandparents surveyed by the RAC, 22 per cent admitted they didn’t put children in a car seat every time when transporting them, with 16 per cent saying they neglected to do this very rarely, three per cent failing to do it sometimes and another three per cent saying they didn’t put children in child seats regularly.

How to choose the best child car seat

Parents and grandparents aged 45 to 54 are the worst offenders, with six per cent admitting they regularly failed to use child seats. Some 18 per cent of parents aged 17 to 34 were guilty of doing so very rarely, as were 16 per cent of grandparents aged over 65. The data shows men are more likely than women to commit the offence, by a ratio of 17 per cent to 15 per cent.

The biggest excuse given by drivers who admit not putting their children in a child seat was that they didn’t have a seat with them as it was in another vehicle - 54 per cent said this.

Meanwhile, 15 per cent didn’t think a child seat was necessary on a short journey, nine per cent unexpectedly found the car seat was the wrong size, and four per cent said their car was so heavily loaded that there was no room for a child seat.

According to UK law, children travelling in the car must be placed in a child seat until they either reach a height of 135cm or an age of 12 years - whichever comes first. This law was first introduced in 2006,before being updated in 2017 to address concerns around backless booster seats.

All backless booster seats brought to market after 1 March 2017 can only be approved for children weighing more than 22kg or taller than 125cm, whereas before children who weighed as little as 15kg could use them.

RAC Shop spokesperson Sophie Steane said: “Having the right car seat for your baby or child is essential. Our findings show that many parents and grandparents have taken risks by not using the proper seats. While many say they have only done this very occasionally and only for very short distances, you can never be sure that something bad won’t happen.

“We imagine more risks have been taken with older children than babies, but we would urge every parent and grandparent not to chance it, as the thoughts of something terrible happening would be too much to bear.”

Unsure of the law surrounding child car seats? Click here for our guide....

Recommended

Cyclists and pedestrians prioritised in upcoming Highway Code revisions
News

Cyclists and pedestrians prioritised in upcoming Highway Code revisions

Latest Highway Code changes look to strengthen the priority of walkers and cyclists over motorists
30 Jul 2021
UK road pricing: UK plan to plug the fuel duty gap
Motorway
News

UK road pricing: UK plan to plug the fuel duty gap

The Government’s plan to plug the £30bn gap in lost fuel duty is taking shape with bans on petrol and diesel car and trucks looming
13 Jul 2021
Four million people in the UK have fallen asleep while driving
Tired driver
News

Four million people in the UK have fallen asleep while driving

Research produces worrying revelation that four million UK motorists have nodded off behind the wheel at some point
16 Jun 2021
Thatcham approved devices and crash tests explained
Joe Finnerty in Hyper G sled
Consumer news

Thatcham approved devices and crash tests explained

Thatcham studies crashes, rates alarms and sets insurance groups to help cut drivers’ costs. We find out how
11 May 2021

Most Popular

Land Rover unveils limited-run Defender Trophy Edition
Land Rover unveils limited-run Defender Trophy Edition - front
Land Rover Defender

Land Rover unveils limited-run Defender Trophy Edition

Just 220 examples will be built to honour past Camel Trophy Land Rovers, all of which have been reserved for the North American market
30 Jul 2021
New 2021 Volkswagen Taigo coupe-SUV breaks cover
Volkswagen Taigo R-Line - front
Volkswagen Taigo

New 2021 Volkswagen Taigo coupe-SUV breaks cover

The new VW Taigo is a sportier, more aggressive looking version of the brand’s T-Cross and is aimed at lifestyle buyers
29 Jul 2021
New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range
Kia EV6 - front
Kia EV6

New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range

Kia reveals more specs for its bespoke electric car, with the EV6 offering long range and an 18-minute 80 per cent rapid recharge time
21 Jul 2021