In an attempt to increase child restraint usage, a law was enacted by the 1982 Kentucky Legislature requiring use of child restraints for children forty inches or less in height. To evaluate the effectiveness of this law, a usage survey had to be completed before the law became effective. Objectives of this study were to determine statewide child restraint usage and statistics relating to improper usage. Seatbelt usage of drivers was also analyzed.

A statewide child restraint usage rate of 14.4 percent was obtained. Only 44 percent of restraints were coded as used properly. Several factors, such as population, age of child, and driver restraint usage, were related to child restraint usage. The specific restraint brand was noted and a few, such as the Strolee and Bobby Mac, were the most common. The major overall improper usage was failure to tether the restraint as required. A statewide driver restraint usage rate of 4.2 percent was found.

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The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors, who are responsible for the facts and accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the University of Kentucky or the Kentucky State Police. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.