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Car Safety - Concerns on the Increase

Car Safety Concerns on the Rise

As the new school year begins, moms are hitting the road more - navigating busy morning carpools and rushing to afternoon soccer practice. A new national survey sponsored by Nissan North America, Inc. indicates that many mothers are extremely concerned about their children's safety, especially in other parents' vehicles.

According to a survey of consumers conducted by StrategyOne, a national public opinion research company, seven out of 10 (69%) mothers are "very or extremely concerned" about their children's safety when they carpool with other parents. Their first concern (84%) is that their children will not be properly restrained when in other parents' vehicles. Following close behind, 81% of moms said they are worried that being in a hurry to get to their destination compromises their children's safety.

The survey also found that four out of five mothers (79%) find children's behavior to be the biggest distraction while driving. Cellular phones ranked second, with 75% of moms citing them as a distraction.

"Mothers are worried about their children when they're on the road with others, and they are right to be concerned - 2,570 children under the age of 15 were killed last year in automobile accidents," said Bob Yakushi, Nissan's director of product safety and a certified child passenger safety technician. "It can be difficult driving with children in the car, but moms can help maximize the safety of everyone in the vehicle by following five simple tips. I encourage moms to share them with other parents their children ride with to increase their safety awareness."

  • Fasten Seatbelts Before Takeoff - Check each child's safety seat or booster and belt to ensure they are properly restrained before starting the car.

  • Music Calms the Savage Beast - About two thirds of mothers rely on music (68%) or toys (66%) to occupy their children's attention so that they can focus on driving. Keep soft toys and games in the car to entertain your children or get them to sing along to their favorite music.

  • No Good Deed Goes Unnoticed - Reinforce good behavior with prizes, such as an extra book from the library or quarters for the video arcade.

  • A Time and Place for Everything - Pull the vehicle over at a safe place to deal with behavior problems. Don't try to solve situations while driving.

  • Look Mom, No Hands - Do not use the cell phone when driving or, if it is necessary, use a hands-free headset.

In addition, the survey found that three in five mothers (62%) consider the overall safety of a vehicle the most important factor when purchasing and that safety features, such as air bags and safety locks, are the most important features on a new vehicle.

To help parents choose the right child safety seat for their vehicle, Nissan developed the Snug Kids Fit Guide, a first-of-its-kind resource that tells Nissan and Infiniti owners which seats fit best in their particular vehicle. Nissan also developed the Quest for Safety program in 1997 to educate parents and caregivers in low-literacy communities about child seat safety.

"Since most accidents happen close to home, kids are even at great risk during short trips around the neighborhood," said Yakushi. "Properly restraining your child is of the utmost importance, whether taking a long trip or going just down the block to school."

More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.nissanUSA. For info on the Snug Kids Fit Guide, visit SnugKids Website.