Car seat incentive programs educate parents and caregivers about proper use of car seats (i.e., infant, convertible, and booster seats) and reward parents and/or children for correct use (CG-Motor vehicle injury, NHTSA-Car seats). Rewards vary from inexpensive trinkets or coupons to more valuable prizes, often donated by community businesses (Zaza 2001). Highway safety offices and car seat advocates often play leadership roles in education, distribution, and incentive programs. Programs vary in length and intensity and can be implemented in targeted settings (e.g., car dealerships or fire stations) or throughout entire communities (CG-Motor vehicle injury).
Expected Beneficial Outcomes (Rated)
Increased use of car seats
Evidence of Effectiveness
There is strong evidence that car seat incentive and education programs increase car seat use regardless of the value of the incentive offered (CG-Motor vehicle injury, Cochrane-Ehiri 2006*, Porter 2011*, Dellinger 2007*).
Incentive and education programs have been shown to increase infant and convertible seat use when implemented in daycare centers and across communities. Such programs have demonstrated effects up to five months after completion (CG-Motor vehicle injury), however, additional evidence is needed to confirm long-term effects (Zaza 2001).
Incentive and education programs also appear to increase use of booster seats among children 4 to 8 years old (Cochrane-Ehiri 2006*).
Impact on Disparities
Citations - Evidence
* Journal subscription may be required for access.
CG-Motor vehicle injury - The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide). Motor vehicle injury prevention.
Cochrane-Ehiri 2006* - Ehiri JE, Ejere HOD, Magnussen L, et al. Interventions for promoting booster seat use in four to eight year olds travelling in motor vehicles. Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews. 2006;(1):CD004334.
Porter 2011* - Porter BE, ed. Handbook of Traffic Psychology. London: Elsevier; 2011.
Dellinger 2007* - Dellinger A, Sleet D, Shults RA, Rinehart C. Handbook of injury and violence prevention, Chapter 4: Interventions to prevent motor vehicle injuries. In: Doll L, Bonzo S, Sleet D, Mercy J, Haas E, eds. Handbook of injury and violence prevention. Atlanta: Springer; 2007:55-79.
Zaza 2001 - Zaza S, Sleet DA, Thompson RS, Sosin DM, Bolen JC, Task Force on Community Preventive Services. Reviews of evidence regarding interventions to increase use of child safety seats. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2001;21(4 Suppl):31–47.
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