Three out of four children not properly strapped in

According to figures from the road safety institute Vias many young children in Belgium are not properly strapped in to their infants’ car seats. All children shorter than 1.35 metres are obliged by law to sit in an infant’s car seat that is correctly strapped in whenever they travel by car.

However, just 23% of children in Belgium as a whole and just 1 in 6 children in Flanders are strapped in properly.

Vias surveyed more than 1,000 children shorter than 1.35 metres from all over Belgium to check that they were being strapped in properly. The results of the survey make shocking reading.

• Of those surveyed just 23% were strapped in properly with the correct seat attached correctly with a seat belt.
• 50% of children surveyed were in the correct seat, but it wasn’t attached correctly.
• 14% of children were sat in a seat that wasn’t suitable for size and/or weight.
• 13% were not strapped in at all.

The figures for Flanders were worse than for the Brussels-Capital Region or Wallonia.

Many of us are unaware that anything is wrong

Many drivers believe that the children travelling in the vehicles are strapped in safely. 77% of those survey believed that the child was sat in the right seat and strapped in correctly.

When confronted with the fact that this was not the case 20% cited carelessness or lack of time for their error. Meanwhile, 18% said that the child had resisted being put into the seat or had strapped his/herself in, 14% said that they didn’t know how to put the seat in properly.

The incorrect use of child seats is much more frequent when a child is being transported by someone other than their parents or grandparents.