Parents and carers are being urged to make sure their child car restraints are installed correctly after a study found nine out of ten Victorian kids are not safe in the car.

The Kidsafe survey of more than 9,200 cars found that nine out of ten child car restraints are either incorrectly installed or used, with 51 per cent needing an adjustment and 37 per cent requiring a full re-installation.

Common incorrect installation and usage issues identified include:

  • Top tether straps twisted, connected to the wrong point or not connected to an anchor point at all
  • Twisted harness straps or harness straps that were at the incorrect height
  • Seatbelts which were threaded through the incorrect path, or were loose
  • ISOFIX attachments which weren’t secured correctly
  • Children who had been graduated to the next stage of car restraint before they were the right size.

“The correct adjustments to a booster seat can be the difference between life and death in a crash, so it’s vital carers take the time to get it right,” said Minister for Roads and Road Safety Ben Carroll.

To help improve safety in the car, Victorian families can access the Safe Seats, Safe Kids program – which offers free fittings and safety checks by accredited professional child car restraint fitters.

Kidsafe Victoria has also launched a new free online e-learning tool to help parents make their child car restraints safe with information and advice on choosing, installing, adjusting and using child car restraints and booster seats.