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Parents think more expensive products and accessories make car travel with their children safer – new BCAA survey

A new BCAA survey shows that parents think they need to spend big dollars to keep their children safer in the car, concerned BCAA wants to see more learning and less spending from parents.

May 02, 2018, Burnaby, BC


The BCAA Child Passenger Safety Survey, conducted by Insights West asks parents for their views and behaviors about child passenger safety products, including child car seats, accessories and gadgets.

The survey reveals that many parents see a correlation between keeping their child safe and the amount of money they spend and how many products they buy.

  • Majority (55%) are conscious about how much they spend on a car seat and say they wouldn’t want people to think they didn’t put safety first.
  • One in four (23%) believe more expensive, top-of-the-line seats are safer, 23% see $200 as the starting point of a car seat that would provide better safety.
  • 42% believe having additional child passenger products such as a monitoring mirror or window shade make a child safer and one-third (32%) feel car seat accessories are safer.

“We’ve been seeing this more and more, parents who think expensive child car seats and buying more gadgets will keep their child safer while travelling in a car,” says Shawn Pettipas, BCAA’s director of Community Engagement. “Sure, it’s nice having the latest trend in car seats, along with add-ons, but splurging on an expensive child seat and all the extras shouldn’t be the focus over being well-educated on child passenger safety, particular child car seat use and installation—despite good intentions, that’s what can put a child at risk.”

According to BCAA Child Passenger Safety Educators, using the correct car seat, correctly installing the seat and properly securing a child in the seat are more important than brand names. When it comes to additional car seat accessories and child passenger safety products, having all the bells and whistles doesn’t necessarily make a child safer in a car. Loose items such as toys or accessories which can become detached such as a monitoring mirror can potentially become hazardous projectile during a crash or sudden stop.

“We know that parents’ hearts are in the right place and they’re only trying to do what they think is right,” says Pettipas, who is a child passenger safety educator and oversees community car seat programs for BCAA. “But parents may be focusing on the wrong things and adding unnecessary pressure on themselves and their budgets.”

When it comes to pressure, parents reveal it can come from their peers or themselves. One-third (30%) say they feel pressure from others to have the best car seats, along with more accessories and products. Thirty-four per cent admit they feel guilty for buying inexpensive child car seats or foregoing on extra accessories and products.

The good news from BCAA is that parents can keep their child safe while travelling in a car without the big cost. BCAA tells parents to keep it simple and focus on getting the basics right:

  • Become well-educated on child passenger safety. Use a variety of information sources which include your car seat instructions, vehicle owner’s manual, Transport Canada and BCAA’s Child Passenger Safety online resource, which offers a wealth of information and instructional videos. You can also call 1-877-247-5551 to speak to a Child Passenger Safety Educator or we can connect you to one in your community.
  • Understand how to choose the correct seat for your child’s age and size. Choose a child car seat that meets age, height and weight requirements and complies with Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (CMVSS). Ensure it fits your child and car.
  • Learn and practice how to correctly install your child car seat and secure your child in it. Research shows that a properly installed child car seat reduces the risk of fatality by 71 per cent % and the risk of serious injury by 67 percent % (Transport Canada).
  • Avoid keeping loose items or detachable accessories inside the car. Items often provided to children while in the car such as toys or an iPad, along with gadgets such as a monitoring mirror or window shade can potentially become projectiles during a crash or sudden stop.

For more tips and instructional videos, visit bcaa.com. To talk to a BCAA Child Passenger Safety Educator or get connected to an educator in the community, contact BCAA at 1-877-247-5551.

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About the survey

Results of the survey are based on an online study conducted from February 8 to February 10, 2018, among a representative sample of 473 British Columbian adults who drive a child aged 0 to 9 and use a child car seat or booster seat. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/-4.5 percentage points.

About BCAA

The most trusted organization in British Columbia by its Members, BCAA serves 1 in 3 B.C. households with industry-leading products including home, auto and travel insurance, roadside assistance, Evo Car Share and full auto service at BCAA’s Auto Service Centres. BCAA has a long history focused on keeping kids safe on the road and at play through community programs such as its School Safety Patrol, Community Child Car Seat Program and BCAA Play Here. Please visit bcaa.com.

For further information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Niela Melanio
BCAA Communication Specialist
Office: 604-268-5342
Cell: 778-228-8859
niela.melanio@bcaa.com