Posted on January 31, 2014

Study: Racial Gaps Exist in Car-Seat Usage

Chris Hoenig, DiversityInc, January 31, 2014

Children from underrepresented groups don’t use the proper car seat as often as white children do, according to a study out of the University of Michigan.

Researchers found that white parents were three to four times more likely to report using age-appropriate child safety seats than parents from underrepresented groups. But the survey, which included 600 parents of kids aged 1 through 12, struggled to explain the reasons for the racial disparities. “We expected that differences in family income, parental education and sources of information would explain the racial disparities in age-appropriate restraint use, and they did not,” lead author Dr. Michelle L. Macy told Reuters Health. Most parents said they got their information from instruction manuals or by “just figuring it out,” and social norms could be one reason for the disparities, she said

Disparities were also seen when it came to parents of kids aged 4 through 7 allowing the children to sit in the front seat. About 10 percent of all kids that age sit in the front seat, according to the survey, but white parents were only half as likely to allow children that age up front. {snip}

Experts say all children under age 13 should ride in the backseat. {snip}