The latest data on child safety seat usage from the Nebraska Department of Roads is surprising.
It shows that 97 percent of drivers use child restraints which is up from 88.6 percent in 2006. But experts say they're pushing for 100 percent compliance.
In 2016, the Nebraska Department of Roads says 434 children were secured in car seats at the time of crash but 115 were not. Experts say children involved in a car collision without proper safety restraints, are at risk for serious injury.
"Often times, people think it's a quick neighborhood trip or a friend transporting my child might not have a booster seat or safety seat, said Rose White, AAA Nebraska. "Those are the types of situation where accidents do occur."
Last legislative session, lawmakers pushed for stricter regulations to protect children.
Currently - children under six must be strapped into a federally approved safety seat. Beginning January 1st, 2019 all children up to age eight must use safety seats. And all children up to age two must use a rear-facing car seat until they meet mandated height and weight requirements.
"We have to remember that for small children, a seat belt could cut across their abdomen in a severe crash," said White. "They need to be in a safety seat, booster seat...so the force of the crash will be on the safety seat."
"All car seats rated by NHTSA meet Federal Safety Standards & strict crash performance standards. While all seats on the market are safe, they do differ in their ease of use in four basic categories:"
- Evaluation of Instructions: Examines the content and clarity of the instruction manual for the restraint.
- Vehicle Installation Features: Examines the ease of using features that pertain to installing the child restraint in a vehicle.
- Evaluation of Labels: Examines the content and clarity of the labeling attached to the child restraint.
- Securing the Child: Examines the ease of using features that pertain to securing a child correctly in the restraint.
Violating Nebraska Child Safety Restraint laws carries a $25 fine plus court costs and 1 point against your driving record.
Close to a thousand people were cited in 2016 for not using child seats.