The objective of this project was to obtain a measure of the current level of misuse of child restraint systems (CRSs) among the general public. The project focused specifically on forms of misuse that can be expected to raise the risk of injury. Over 4,100 vehicles and over 5,500 children weighing less than the driver-estimated weight of 80 lb, from 6 States (Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Washington), were observed in the study. Data were collected in the Fall of 2002.

The authors wish to thank many individuals and organizations for their time and effort. The authors would first like to express their appreciation to the State site coordinators (SSCs) who were responsible for field operations in their respective States. They are Nancy Avery (Tucson SAFE KIDS), Kay Brodbeck and Cynthia Huff (Mississippi Safety Services), Kathy Kruger (Washington Safety Restraint Coalition), Cathy Metzger (SAFE KIDS St. Louis), Juli McGreevy (Pennsylvania consultant), Robert Mott (South Central Pennsylvania Highway Safety Program), and Lorrie Walker (Florida Traffic Safety Resource Center, Florida Atlantic University).

Thanks are in order to the expert panelists who attended the workshop to identify the criteria for measuring critical CRS misuse early in the project. They are Paul Butler (Ford Automobile Safety Office), David Campbell (David Campbell and Associates), Karen DiCapua (National Safe Kids Campaign), Dr. Susan Ferguson (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety), William Hall (Highway Safety Research Center, University of North Carolina), Lorrie Walker (Florida Traffic Safety Resource Center, Florida Atlantic University), Kathleen Weber (University of Michigan Medical School, retired), and Dr. Narayan Yoganandan (Medical College of Wisconsin).

Thanks are also in order to Dr. Flaura K. Winston, Shannon D. Morris, and Rebecca A. Cornejo of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for their contributions at the workshop. In addition, thanks are in order to Chesapeake Research Review, Inc. (Columbia, Md.) for conducting the institutional review board procedures and approval.

Final thanks to the dozens of certified child passenger safety technicians and instructors, as well as greeters responsible for collecting quality CRS misuse data in the six States. Also thanks to our data entry staff. They were Amy Richmond, Ann Scheeler, and Elizabeth Standish.

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