Each day during 2003, an average of six children under 15 years old were killed and another 694 were injured in motor vehicle crashes. This is the leading cause of death and disability for children in the United States.
Recent findings suggest that children aged 4-7 years who use belt-positioning booster seats are 59% less likely to be injured in a motor-vehicle crash, compared with their counterparts using adult safety belts. In a recent national telephone survey conducted by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration only 21% of children aged 4-8 years used booster seats. Although all states have enacted legislation requiring child passenger restraints for infants and toddlers, only 22 states and the District of Columbia have enacted booster seat laws.
Having had two children killed in 1993 in a DWI crash aged 5 and 8, I became aware of the danger of using lap belts alone. Having lived through this personal tragedy, I believe strongly that no child should be restrained with a lap belt only, but should have a shoulder belt as well, and between the ages of 4 and 8 probably should be in a booster seat as well until the shoulder belt fits them well.