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Effects of the Michigan mandatory child-restraint law

In: UMTRI Research Review, Vol. 14, No. 5, March-April 1984, p. 6-8

Authors: Alexander C. Wagenaar

A Michigan law that became effective April 1, 1982, requires children under age four to be restrained by an approved child restraint device when riding in a passenger car. Children under age one must be secured in a child seat. But children between ages one and four may be restrained by an adult seat belt, provided they are in a rear seat. To evaluate the effects of the new law (and of a related public information program conducted in early 1982), the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning sponsored a 1983 UMTRI study of restraint use and occupant injuries in all traffic accidents occurring in Michigan during the 60-month period of January, 1978, through December, 1982. Briefly described here are the methods and findings of that study.