MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) – While seat belt usage drops off dramatically after toddlerhood, new research shows older children are involved in thousands of traffic crashes each year in Kansas.
Kansas State University civil engineers worked with the Kansas Department of Transportation and a research program to analyze crash data. They found that children from 4 to 13 years of age were involved in 50,155 crashes in the state from 2004 to 2008.
The crashes happen at an age when seat belt usage is less prevalent. According to 2010 observational surveys in Kansas, nearly 97 percent of children under the age of 4 use safety restraints. But only 76 percent of older children – ages 4 to 13 years old – use seat belts.
The driver’s sobriety is among the factors affecting seat belt usage.