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Survey: Parents are Increasingly Anxious about Child Safety on the Road

Volvo Car USA and Britax Child Safety, Inc. are teaming up for Child Passenger Safety Week to help ease parents’ worries and provide practical guidance on how to keep kids safe on the road.

(ROCKLEIGH, N.J.) Sept. 16, 2019: A new survey from Volvo Car USA and The Harris Poll revealed that American parents believe the roads today have never been more dangerous for families. More than six in ten parents believe it is harder to keep children safe while driving than it was two years ago, while more than nine in ten believe too many people drive recklessly and endanger families on the road.

According to the new report, Volvo Reports: Child Safety in the Back Seat, parents are actively seeking new ways to protect their loved ones and overcome the anxiety felt from the seemingly endless choices and conflicting information around child safety products. This year, for Child Passenger Safety Week (September 15 – 21), Volvo is working with Britax, a leader in child passenger safety technology, to help alleviate this burden and provide practical advice to families on-the-go.

Volvo and Britax share an unparalleled commitment to innovation in child safety, as both are true pioneers in the category. Volvo invented the single most important safety innovation in the history of vehicles in 1959, the three-point safety belt, still the most critical safety system in today’s cars. This was followed by several world’s firsts including testing the first child restraint prototype in 1964 and introducing the child safety booster cushion in 1978. In 1997, Britax paved the way in North America, when it introduced the first car seat with the combination of a 5-point harness, built-in lock-offs, energy-managing foam and the patented Britax® Versa-tether. Britax recently announced the first all-in-one car seat featuring their game changing ClickTight installation system.

"Keeping children safe on the road is an attainable goal," said Sarah Tilton, Child Passenger Safety Advocate at Britax Child Safety. "It starts with you as the care-giver. Pay attention to best practice safety guidelines and always follow your car seat user guides and vehicle owner's manuals."

Pulling from their shared expertise, Volvo and Britax have curated a set of practical tips for parents to use, whether unsure on how to properly install a child seat or simply looking for best practices in the back seat. They can be found in the latest report, available here.

The survey further examined parents’ anxiety around the rising dangers on the road, the distractions they face when driving with their children and what solutions they are looking for to make the back seat safer. Some highlights include:

Parents face an uphill battle to stay focused while driving with kids

  • Two-thirds (69%) of parents feel distracted while driving with their children.
    • Children often contribute to this in the car, with parents reporting their kids have thrown tantrums (36%), gotten sick (31%) or had a toy (22%) or food (18%) thrown at them from the back seat.
  • Among new parents, 1 in 4 (24%) have unintentionally run over a curb and 1 in 5 (20%) admit to getting into a fender bender while driving with children.
  • More than 7 in 10 (71%) admit they have unbuckled their seatbelts while driving with kids, with that number rising to 87% amongst new parents.
    • Reasons for unbuckling? These range from reaching for items elsewhere in the vehicle (42%), reaching for something a child dropped (35%), to console a child (28%) or intervene when kids are arguing (24%).

Safety fears cause more defensive driving

  • With road safety a major concern for parents, they are twice as likely to drive defensively with their family in the car than when driving alone (42% vs. 25%).
  • Nearly 9 in 10 (88%) are more conscious of the example they are setting when their children are in the car.

Parents are looking for new solutions to keep their eyes on the road

  • An overwhelming number of parents (89%) believe that safety is the number one reason to research a vehicle before buying.
  • What are parents looking for?
    • Possible solutions include alerts when seatbelts are unbuckled (63%), built-in mirrors so the child can see the driver (25%) and ways to keep them busy, like entertainment screens (48%) and mood technology that changes lighting and music when children are distressed (24%).

This report, Volvo Reports: Child Safety in the Back Seat, is the latest in a series of Volvo Reports from Volvo Car USA and The Harris Poll designed to uncover insights into the American opinion across four core themes: design, safety, technology and the environment.

This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Volvo from May 21-29, 2019, among 2,000 licensed drivers ages 18 and older, including 1,236 licensed new parents. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

About Volvo Car USA
Volvo Car USA, LLC, ( is a subsidiary of Volvo Car Group of Gothenburg, Sweden. VCUSA provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to Volvo automobile retailers in the United States. For more information please refer to the VCUSA media website at:

About Britax Child Safety, Inc. (The Americas)
Premium car seat, stroller and accessories manufacturer, Britax tests and builds its infant through harness-2-booster line of car seats in the U.S.A. using U.S. and global components. Britax engineers its car seats to meet U.S. and Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and makes significant investments in advanced technology, research and development to deliver safe products families can depend on. In 2011, Britax expanded its product line by acquiring BOB Gear, a brand that delivers high-performance strollers and stroller accessories. Britax Child Safety, Inc. employs more than 200 people at its headquarters in Fort Mill, S.C.

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