A fifth of UK parents are risking their childrenâ€™s lives and leaving themselves open to a Â£500 fine by failing to use the correct child car seats.
According to a survey by Confused.com 18 per cent of drivers with children under the age of 12 admit to â€œnever or rarelyâ€ using a car seat for their kids, despite the law stating that they must.
And a terrifying 42 per cent who had been involved in an accident while their child was in the car admitted that their son or daughter was either not in a child seat or was not wearing a seatbelt at the time.
“Crash impact films show what a difference having the correct car seat can make to your childâ€™s protection, and while the rules might be confusing, they are in place to make sure children are as safe as possible”
Amanda Stretton, Confused.com
Last year the law around child seats was changed and, according to the research, almost nine in 10 drivers said they were confused by the latest regulations. For a full explanation of the regulations surrounding child seats you can read our guide here.
As well as the potentially fatal consequences of not having the appropriate seat for their child, drivers face a fine of up to Â£500 for carrying a child under the age of 14 who isnâ€™t appropriately restrained.
The changes last year related to the banning of backless booster seats for children under 125cm or 22kg but come on top of various other rules covering the correct seat for children of different ages and weights.
Among the reasons given for not using a child seat were parents who didnâ€™t think their child needed one (31 per cent); not bothering to move seats between cars (29 per cent); making a short trip (25 per cent) and there not being enough space in the car (11 per cent).
Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, said: â€œThe car seat regulations introduced in February last year are still causing confusion among parents.
â€œCrash impact films show what a difference having the correct car seat can make to your childâ€™s protection, and while the rules might be confusing, they are in place to make sure children are as safe as possible.
â€œMums and dads who do not comply with the law may face fines of up to Â£500.â€