A study conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of Volvo Car USA has found that American parents are very likely to be overwhelmed when researching child safety products. Parents feel that the number of products, the amount of information, and the choices to be made are intense and four out of five new parents believe there are more potential threats to a child’s safety now than there were 10 years ago.

The full results are published in Shifting Gears: How Becoming A Parent Changes Driving Forever, the latest in a series of Volvo Reports from Volvo Car USA and The Harris Poll.

“Nothing is more important to parents than their children’s safety and despite the overwhelming options available, it’s clear they are looking for more guidance and direction to ensure they are making the right choices,” said Jim Nichols, Product, Technology & Brand Communications Senior Manager for Volvo Car USA. “Volvo wants to help new parents feel more secure and confident when traveling with their loved ones.”

Study Results

  • The responsibilities of being a parent are immense, leading to parents feeling more stressed than a year ago (66% vs 50% for non-parents) and more distracted than five years ago (57% vs. 45%).
    • Nearly 84 percent of parents find that people judge how parents care for their children more than they did 10 years ago.
  • While 92 percent of parents find it overwhelming to do research on child safety products, that number rises to 97 percent among new parents.
    • In fact, the sheer amount of information available creates new sources of worry, rather than alleviating them for 65 percent of parents.
    • Seven in 10 parents were eager for education around safe driving, specifically designed for new parents.
  • The #1 concern when it comes to child safety gear, is the car seat.
    • 71 percent of parents find the number of models to be overwhelming, while 58 percent found the topic frustrating to research.
    • Once a car seat is purchased, 32 percent wish they had chosen a different seat, a number that rises amongst new parents (41%) and millennial parents (47%).
    • The main pain points for parents? Finding the safest seat (36%), installing the seat (20%) and keeping up with recalls (19%).
    • More than half (55%) of parents would use a professional car seat installer if they had access to one, rising to 65 percent amongst new and millennial parents.
  • Alarmingly, less than half of parents are regularly checking the boxes on essential safety measures once they have a seat. Examples include:
    • 35 percent check the car seat expiration date
    • 50 percent check to see if the child has outgrown the car seat
    • 35 percent remove child’s coat before putting them into the seat

On Saturday, September 29, participating Volvo dealerships across the U.S. will be offering free car seat installation checks by certified CPS technicians. These techs can help parents install child safety seats correctly and verify existing installations. All free of charge. For a list of participating retailers, alongside the latest child safety information and relevant National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) resources for new parents, please visit: https://www.volvocars.com/us/about/child-safety.

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An automotive enthusiast for most of his adult life, Aaron has worked in and around the industry in many ways. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP), the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), and freelances as a writer and journalist around the Web and in print. You can find his portfolio at AaronOnAutos.com.

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