According to this blog post car crashes are the leading cause of death among small children as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The reason is because cars are not designed to protect the smaller body of a child the same way it is for adults. That is why using safety seats and/or booster seats can dramatically add to your child's safety during a crash.
There was a study conducted, by the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, that looked at the child injury rates in New York after 2005. In 2005 New York passed a law that make it mandatory for children younger than 4 to ride in a child safety seat and children under than 7 to use a child restrain system.
After the law took effect the injury rates for children between 4 and 6 decreased by 18 percent. The decrease in injuries was attributed to the increase in safety seat usage which climbed from 29% to 50%.
In 2009 there was an additional study (this one conducted by the Journal of Pediatrics) that using a booster seat for children between the ages of 4 and 8 were 45 percent less likely to suffer injuries in an accident compared to those children just wearing the seat belt.
As a South Carolina personal injury lawyer I feel that it's extremely important to protect our young ones when they are riding in the car with us. Take the time to research the age, height and weight appropriate car seat and/or booster seat for your child. Also make sure that you install it correctly and if possible have someone else double check. Many of the accidents that result in injuries of a child that was in a safety seat occur because the seat was not installed properly.
A car accident can happen in the blink of an eye and your safety and the safety of your child is important.