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Youth Safety Lab.

Car Seats

  • Baby in carseat
  • Child being buckled into a carseat
  • Child in carseat

About one American child is killed every three hours in a motor vehicle crash, and nearly 50 are injured seriously enough to visit an emergency room. One way to reduce injury risk and severity is to have young children properly restrained into a car seat, but evidence suggests well over half the car seats traveling on American roads today are installed incorrectly.

Expert technicians are available in many places to help parents install car seats properly, but they are underutilized for a variety of reasons. We have been experimenting with the use of interactive virtual presence — novel technology delivered by smartphone — to help parents located in remote locations install their car seats correctly.

Sample Publications

  • Schwebel, D. C., Mackay, J. M., & Redden, D. (2020). Study protocol: A randomized non-inferiority trial using interactive virtual presence to remotely assist parents with child restraint installations. Injury Prevention 26, 289-294.
  • Swanson, M., MacKay, M., Yu, S., Kagiliery, A., Bloom, K., & Schwebel, D. C. (2020). Supporting caregiver use of child restraints in rural communities via interactive virtual presence. Health Education & Behavior, 47, 264-271.
  • Schwebel, D. C., Johnston, A., & Rouse, J. (2017). Teaching infant car seat installation via interactive virtual presence: An experimental trial. Traffic Injury Prevention, 18, 188-192.
  • Schwebel, D. C., Tillman, M. A., Crew, M., Muller, M., & Johnston, A. (2017). Using interactive virtual presence to support accurate installation of child restraints: Efficacy and parental perceptions. Journal of Safety Research, 62, 235–243.