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MAPFRE Child Safety SeatMassDOT and MAPFRE Insurance advocate for safe driving practices and at this time of year, with back to school and Child Passenger Safety Week, it is a good opportunity to check your vehicle. Child Passenger Safety Week is September 15th to the 21st, with the 21st also being National Seat Check Saturday.

Are you certain that your children are safely seated and fastened every time you are in your car? Parents are often confident that they have properly installed their child’s car seat, but in some cases the seat has not been installed correctly. During Child Passenger Safety Week, many communities will have certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians on hand to provide free education on how to use these life-saving products correctly.  Massachusetts offers tools, resources, and car seat inspection sites to help ensure that keeping your kids safe while on the road is your top priority. Visit mass.gov/car-seat-safety to find additional resources and a car seat inspection site near you.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, every 32 seconds in 2017, one child under the age of 13 in a passenger vehicle was involved in a crash. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children. Many times, injuries and deaths can be prevented by proper use of car seats, boosters, and seat belts.

Over the past few years, car seat laws have become stricter to ensure the safety of children. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the current laws in Massachusetts:

  • All children riding in passenger motor vehicles must be in a federally approved child passenger restraint that is properly fastened and secured according to the manufacturer’s instructions until they are 8 years old OR over 57 inches tall.

You should keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. It is the best way to keep him or her safe. Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by the car seat’s manufacturer. This is typically around ages 2 to 3 years old. As your child gets older and no longer needs a booster seat, it is crucial to continue to monitor and check that they are safely buckled in, every trip, every time. 1,552 youth between the ages of 8 and 14 died in motor vehicle crashes over the past 5 years; of those who died, almost half were not buckled up. Remember that any child under the age of 14 must be safely buckled in the back seat of any vehicle. Learn more information.

Even the safest of drivers can find themselves in need of assistance, which is why the MassDOT Highway Assistance Program sponsored by MAPFRE Insurance is here to help with fixing minor mechanical problems, flat tires, fuel shortages, and emergency situations. The Highway Assistance Program drivers monitor some of the state’s busiest highways and turnpikes around Metro Boston, Worcester, Springfield and Cape Cod (seasonal). The Highway Assistance Patrol covers 13 major state roadways and interstates, the Emergency Service Patrol covers the Mass Pike (I-90) from New York to Boston and the Incident Response Operators cover the Metropolitan Highway System and tunnels. The Highway Assistance Patrol is in service Monday–Friday between the hours of 6 a.m.–10 a.m. and 3 p.m.–7 p.m. During holidays, there are extended routes in heavy traffic areas. On I-90, and in Boston’s tunnel system, assistance is provided 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.

Written By Patrick McDonald, CPCU, CEO, Northeast Region, MAPFRE Insurance

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