MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Parents, when you run a quick errand with your kids, do you check to make sure their seat belt is fastened? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says not enough parents do, but there's a new campaign aimed at changing that.
"Never Give Up Until They Buckle Up," is the message from the NHTSA. The group urges parents, particularly of tween-aged kids, to make sure children are consistently and properly wearing the seatbelt.
It is the first ever campaign the NHTSA has directed at the tween group- ages 8 to 14. But it's really directed at parents. Seatbelt use can fall to the way side when you take kids back and forth to school, extra-curricular's, running errands or just when you're not paying attention.
The group says data shows as kids get older they're less likely to buckle up. Not wearing a seatbelt puts you and your kids at serious risk if you get into a crash. In the last five years, 1,552 kids in the tween group died in car, SUV, and van crashes, the NHSTA said. And almost half were unbelted.
The NHTSA stresses parents are the driver. And parents need to stand firm when their kids are testing limits, especially in the tween years because that's how they learn.
Refuse to start the car until the seatbelt is buckled.
Parents, remember the idea that good behavior is learned? It's the same concept when it comes to driving habits like buckling the seatbelt.
"These teenagers will watch their parents drive for 15 years," said Mike Doneff, owner of Safe Driving School, Inc. "So with me talking to them for 7/8 hours on a Saturday, their perception of driving, their habits, they're all pretty well set with watching their parents a lot of times."