Vehicle Safety Hotline 888-327-4236

Vehicle Safety Hotline 888-327-4236
All children under 13 should be
properly restrained in the back seat
in the appropriate restraint for their
age and size.
When children outgrow their booster
seats they can use the adult seat belt in
the back seat, if it fits properly (lap belt
lays across the upper thighs and the
shoulder belt fits across the chest).
A child using a seat belt should be able to sit
all the way back against the vehicle seat back
with knees bent comfortably over the edge of
the seat.
Make sure children get to the school bus stop
on time, wait five giant steps away from the
road and avoid rough play.
Teach children to always
ask the driver for help if
they drop something near
the bus. Remind children
to only cross in front of the
school bus when the driver tells them it is
safe to cross and to always look for traffic as
they cross the street.
Parents often think children are
able to cross the street by
themselves before they
are ready. Children
usually don’t have
such skills until
at least age 10.
Once children outgrow their
forward-facing seats, they should
ride in booster seats, in the back seat,
until the vehicle seat belts fit properly.
Seat belts fit properly when the lap
belt lays across the upper thighs
and the shoulder belt fits across the
Bicycle riders should
always wear
helmets. Make
sure the helmet
fits low on the
forehead so
that only two fingers
fit between it and the
When children outgrow
their rear-facing seats they
should ride in forwardfacing child safety seats,
in the back seat, until they
reach the upper weight or
height limit of the particular
Before crossing the street, parents
and children should stop and look
left–right–left to see if
any cars are coming.
Wait until all cars
have passed and
then quickly cross,
looking both ways as
you do so.
For the best possible ­protection,
keep infants in the back seat, in
rear-facing child safety seats,
as long as possible up to the
height or weight limit of
the ­particular seat.
An infant in a rear-facing
child safety seat must
never ride in the front seat
of a vehicle with an active
passenger air bag.
Visit the NHTSA Web site at www. for more information
about seat belts; child safety seats;
and pedestrian, bicycle, and school
bus safety.
Vehicle Safety
DOT HS 809 469
March 2011
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