The Effectiveness of Child Safety Seats in Reducing the Risk of Death: A Matched-Set Approach

Despite the widespread use of child safety seats in the US, little is known about how personal, vehicle, and crash characteristics influence their effectiveness and whether effectiveness has changed during the last decade. Despite the fact that there have been substantial changes in child restraint technology and use over the past several years (e.g., the shift from using shield booster seats to using belt-positioning booster seats during the 1990s), the best available estimates of effectiveness are now ten years old. Several more recent studies have attempted to investigate the effectiveness of child restraints in reducing injuries and/or deaths sustained in crashes; however, the overwhelming majority of these studies have suffered from a variety of biases and potential biases associated with their sources of data and/or statistical methods. This study will make use of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), to (1) estimate the effectiveness of child safety seats and of seat belts; (2) determine whether or not safety seat effectiveness is influenced by crash and occupant characteristics, such as child age, seating position, crash type, or vehicle type; (3) determine whether or not child safety seat effectiveness has changed over the past 15 years (e.g., due to a shift from the use of shield boosters to belt-positioning boosters); (4) compare and contrast results obtained using several different statistical methods, and illustrate problems associated with some methods that have been used in past studies; and (5) develop and promote valid methods for analyzing the effectiveness of occupant protection systems using data from FARS. Child safety seat effectiveness will be estimated by applying conditional regression methods to data on matched sets of vehicle occupants. Death risk ratios, comparing young children restrained in CSSs with those who were restrained in seat belts and with those who were unrestrained, will be obtained from these models.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Sponsor Organizations:

      AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

      607 14th Street, NW
      Washington, DC  United States  2005
    • Project Managers:

      Tefft, Brian

    • Performing Organizations:

      University of California, Berkeley

      Traffic Safety Center
      140 Warren Hall
      Berkeley, CA  United States  94720-7360
    • Principal Investigators:

      Rice, Thomas

    • Start Date: 20060300
    • Expected Completion Date: 0
    • Actual Completion Date: 20070300
    • Source Data: RiP Project 12198

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01458407
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
    • Files: RiP
    • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 12:42PM