Parents and grandparents who transport children by car are being urged not to take any chances and always use a child car seat.
The plea comes from the RAC, on the back of a survey in which more than a fifth of respondents admitted to breaking the law by not properly securing their youngest passengers.
While the majority of those (16%) confessed to not using a car seat ‘very rarely’, 3% said they did so ‘sometimes’ and another 3% ‘regularly’.
The biggest excuse provided was not having access to the car seat as it was in another vehicle (54%) – while 15% said they didn’t use one due to the shortness of the journey.
The RAC says having the right car seat for a child is ‘essential’.
Sophie Steane, RAC Shop spokesperson, said: “Our findings show that many parents and grandparents have taken risks by not using the proper seats.
“While many say they have only done this very occasionally and only for very short distances, you can never be sure that something bad won’t happen.
“We imagine more risks have been taken with older children than babies, but we would urge every parent and grandparent not to chance it as the thoughts of something terrible happening would be too much to bear.”
UK law dictates that a child must use a child car seat until they are 12 years old or 135cm tall, whichever comes first. Children over the age of 12 or more than 135cm tall must wear a seat belt.