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One in Three Kids Killed in Car Crashes are Completely Unsecured

In 2017, 675 children under the age of 13 were killed while riding in passenger…

  • December 1, 2018

In 2017, 675 children under the age of 13 were killed while riding in passenger vehicles, according to NHTSA data. Of those killed, more than one in three (35%) were not using a car seat, booster seat or seat belt.

When used correctly, these safety restraints can dramatically reduce the risk of fatality or injury.

U.S. advertising trade group The Ad Council and federal highway safety regulator NHTSA have unveiled a new set of public service advertisements (PSAs) to highlight the importance of always securing children in the right car seat, booster seat or seat belt.

“This new creative taps into the insight that parents would do anything to keep their children safe and happy,” said Lisa Sherman, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “We’re looking forward to continuing to empower parents and caregivers with the knowledge they need to make sure their child is in the right seat every time they get in the car.”

It is critical that every trip, every time, children are in the right car seat or booster seat for their age and size—and that children under 13 years of age are always buckled up in the back seat.

“We all share the responsibility to protect children,” said Heidi King, Deputy Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Even though fatalities are down on our roadways, we have an important message to continue to share. These PSAs will help us educate new parents and keep our kids safe in the car at every age.”

New Ads Highlight Safety

To create the campaign, Leo Burnett (working pro bono) mined insights from parenting research and trends, focusing on the idea that parents will do anything for their children.

The TV PSAs feature relatable scenes of parents carrying out selfless acts—from watching their child’s soccer game in the pouring rain to soothing a crying baby at 4 a.m.

The videos cleverly nudge parents to become more informed about car seat and seat belt recommendations by noting that, if they’re willing to go to these lengths for their children then, surely, they would also visit to ensure their kids’ safety.

Per the Ad Council’s model, the new PSAs will be distributed to media outlets nationwide and will run in donated media time and space.

These PSAs are the first in NHTSA and the Ad Council’s new Child Car Safety campaign, an evolution of the existing Seat Belt Safety and Child Passenger Safety campaigns, which to date have collectively received over $380 million in donated media value.

To learn more, visit, follow the Ad Council’s communities on Facebook and Twitter, and view the creative on YouTube.

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