Child Passenger Safety advocates get a little nuts at times. So do researchers. It’s great to have a statistic to throw around. I sure like them. Sometimes the studies that produce these statistics are good. Other times they are not. For example, perhaps a study trumpets that some risk is 5 times lower for one thing vs. another. That’s great, unless the actual risk is astronomically low to begin with. Five times zero is still zero. Or maybe they gloss over the fact that there really weren’t enough data points to draw solid conclusions. Other studies try to shock you about some relatively minor risk by using the overall motor vehicle fatality numbers. Also not very scientific. Sometimes the studies don’t even agree. One study says a booster is the way to go, another says a seatbelt and a DVD player is just as safe. One says the center seat is safer, another says rear outboard seats are about as safe. Almost no studies consider correct use of child restraints, an issue that is relevant to many advocates whose children are properly restrained.
Who and what should we believe?
It’s pretty simple.