57% of drivers install child restraint systems incorrectly, according to a recent report published by the Uruguay Automobile Club (ACU). Moreover, 75% confirm that they did not try installing the child car seat before purchasing it.
The report was carried out in Montevideo on 400 people who travel by car with children under 12 years old. The report shows that 19% of those surveyed admitted that they had chosen an unsuitable child car seat for their child's development. Furthermore 33% had installed the child car seat without the child and without the manual, which undoubtedly means that many of these child restraints are incorrectly fastened and will not adequately protect the child in an accident.
What should be taken into account when choosing a child car seat? This same study shows that 28% of the drivers surveyed particularly valued the approval standards, while 27% considered whether the child car seat was suitable for the weight and size of the child. 8% appreciated the fact that the child car seat could be adapted for children of different ages and sizes while 7% prioritised the reputation or brand.
The need to carry out more awareness campaigns and to inform drivers better is clearly seen in the report. 14% of those surveyed have secured the child incorrectly in the seat and 10% have put the child car seat facing the wrong way in the car.
We should also highlight the problems uncovered in terms of securing the child in the seat. 5% of those in the survey affirmed that they have problems with the anchorage when placing the child in the child car seat and 2% have problems with harnesses that can't be adjusted.
In Uruguay, using child restraint systems for all children under 1.5 metres tall in private vehicles is compulsory, as stated in the Transit and Road Safety Act (19,061). Children from 0 to 12 years old are required to travel on the rear seats, in accordance with the securing systems and categories established in the regulation. These same obligations apply to adolescents up to 18 years old who are less than 1.5m tall.
Take a look at Uruguayan legislation in our section on ‘Legislatión’.