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DontDelay_RGBSeptember is an incredibly busy time for parents, no matter the age of their children. Whether returning to school virtually, or on a hybrid schedule, it can be difficult and overwhelming to prepare for and adjust to this “new normal” education. Despite these added difficulties, it’s equally important to keep in mind child car safety and ensuring you have the safest and age-appropriate car seat for your child.

Child Passenger Safety Week took place this week, with National Seat Check Saturday taking place on the 26th. This annual week was put forth by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) and the Ad Council in an effort to urge parents and caregivers to protect their child’s future at every stage of life. Injuries and deaths can be prevented by proper use of car seats, boosters, and seat belts.

According to the NHTSA, in passenger cars, car seats reduce an infant’s risk of fatal injury by 71%. In fact, 375 children under 5 years of age were saved by a car seat in 2017. However, a more frightening fact states that 59% of children’s car seats are used incorrectly. To be sure your child is in the correct car seat or booster seat, NHTSA offers an online tool called The Right Seat, where you can find exactly the seat you need based on your child’s age, height and weight.

Ensuring your child’s safety in the car doesn’t just stop with finding the right car seat. It is highly recommended that you also register the car seat to be alerted of any important related information, such as recalls. A car seat registration tool is also available through NHTSA by clicking here. These recalls save lives, but many consumers are unaware that their car seat has been recalled because they failed to register it at the time of purchase. Registering a car seat is a guaranteed way of being notified of a recall.

On Saturday, September 26th, parents and child care-givers can have your child’s car seat inspection by visiting an inspection site. Car seat inspection sites have at least one Child Passenger Safety (CPS) technician on staff where you can go to ensure your child’s seat has been installed correctly, free of charge. You can find your nearest car seat inspection site by visiting Mass.gov or clicking here. It is best to call an inspection site ahead of time and keep in mind current restrictions due to COVID-19. As always, please remember that masks are required and proper social distancing practices will be followed. Virtual assistance is also available.

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

Written By:

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