A high-speed vehicle crash and a misused child car seat can lead to an unthinkable disaster, which is why the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is encouraging parents to schedule a free car seat safety check during its annual “Save Me With a Seat” campaign.

Vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among children in the nation, and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 46% of all child car seats are misused.

“When child car seats are used correctly, they can help reduce injuries and prevent fatalities when children are involved in a crash,” said TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams. “We urge parents to schedule a car seat check today to ensure they are safely and correctly using the right car seat for their child.”

TxDOT offers free car seat safety checks year-round. One can visit SaveMeWithASeat.org and enter his or her zip code to find the nearest TxDOT Traffic Safety Specialist to set up an appointment or view child car seat safety tips.

In 2020, 78 children younger than eight years old died in traffic crashes in Texas, and 31 of those were unrestrained at the time of the crash. Among children ages 8-12 in 2020, 40 died in traffic crashes, with 16 of them unrestrained at the time of the crash. According to NHTSA, child car seats in passenger vehicles can reduce the risk of fatal injury in a crash by 71% for infants and by 54% for toddlers.

In 2020:

• There were seven passenger vehicle crashes in Corpus Christi that resulted in eight serious injuries for children younger than eight years old.

• There was one passenger vehicle crash in Corpus Christi that resulted in one serious injury for children ages 8-12.

• There were eight passenger vehicle traffic crashes in Nueces County that resulted in nine serious injuries for children younger than eight years old.

• There were two passenger vehicle traffic crashes in Nueces County that resulted in two serious injuries for children ages 8-12.

• There were 12 passenger vehicle crashes in TxDOT’s Corpus Christi District that resulted in 13 serious injuries for children younger than eight years old.

• There were three passenger vehicle crashes in the Corpus Christi District that resulted in three serious injuries for children ages 8-12.

None of these crashes resulted in child fatalities.

TxDOT’s Corpus Christi District includes Aransas, Bee, Goliad, Jim Wells, Karnes, Kleberg, Live Oak, Nueces, Refugio and San Patricio counties.

TxDOT reminds drivers that Texas law requires all children under age eight - unless they are taller than 4 feet, 9 inches - to be in a car seat whenever they ride in a passenger vehicle. Failure to properly restrain a child can result in a ticket of up to $250. Children under age 13 should ride in the back seat, properly secured in a seat belt or safety seat.

Nov. 7, 2000 was the last deathless day on Texas roadways.

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