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In and Around Cars

Did You Know?

  • Teenagers ages 14-19 years made up 74 percent of motor vehicle occupant/driver fatalities among children in 2016.
  • Of those children ages 8 and under who died in vehicle crashes in 2016, 26 percent were not restrained by an age-appropriate device such as an infant seat, booster seat or seat belt.
  • Children should ride in a back seat until they are 13 years old.

Working to Keep Kids Safe Around Cars

SKids works to keep kids safe in and around cars, from a baby’s first car seat to the time he or she is behind the wheel. It is all part of the Safe Kids Buckle Up program sponsored by General Motors Foundation. Our work includes comprehensive programs that focus on four important areas for protecting kids.

Our work includes comprehensive programs that focus on four important areas for protecting kids:

  • Child Passenger Safety. Safe Kids is the certifying body for the nation’s 42,000+ car seat technicians. Certified technicians work in hospitals, car dealerships, fire stations and many other places to teach families how to use and install car seats correctly so kids are safer on every ride. Ask a certified technician to show their wallet card. They worked hard for that! 
  • Heatstroke awareness and prevention. Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths for children under the age of 14 who are unattended in cars for a variety of reasons. To help prevent tragic and unnecessary deaths due to heatstroke, Safe Kids created an awareness campaign called Never Leave Your Child Alone in a Car.  
  • Frontovers and Backovers. Not everyone has kids or even thinks about kids when they are driving, so we educate drivers to look for kids in places where they might play. Safe Kids created a program called Spot the Tot to encourage drivers to walk completely around their cars looking for kids, toys and pets before entering their cars. 
  • Getting Ready to Drive. Our research shows that preteens and young teens start thinking about, and sometimes try driving, long before they are old enough to get a permit. Safe Kids helps parents talk to their young teens about being safe passengers in every car so they are ready to be safer teen drivers when it is time to drive. Our Countdown2Drive ( program helps parents start the conversation about what rules and expectations the teen driver will need to know and follow before they are ready to drive the family car. 

Research to Protect Children in Car

Our work is rooted in research as we examine attitudes, skills and behaviors needed to enhance vehicle safety. Our findings guide us in creating targeted and effective awareness campaigns to change behaviors and social norms.   

Advocating for Kids in Cars

In addition to our community education programs, Safe Kids provides local, state and national data as we work to make kids of all ages safer on the roadways. Safe Kids supports kid-friendly laws that contribute to successful graduated driver licensing, reducing driver distraction especially in school zones, impaired driving and heatstroke due to unattended children in cars.


Our work to prevent injuries in and around vehicles is made possible by General Motors, widely recognized for their continuing commitment to child passenger safety. 

Safe Kids also supports the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) “Where’s baby? Look before you lock” campaign.