School of Health in Social Science

Child Passenger Safety

The long-term goal of this research is to promote safe travel for children.

This set of projects is focused on identifying risk and protective factors associated with child passenger safety and includes psychological factors, contextual factors, and technological factors. We use an interdisciplinary approach that is reflected in our international team, which includes experts in psychology, nursing, human factors, engineering, psychophysiology, physics, and public health.

Transportation-related injuries are a leading cause of death for young people globally. Lack of proper restraint use increases the risk of injury in the event of a crash. Key findings have shown that caregivers’ confidence in installing safety seats is unrelated to their skill in doing so (Mirman et al., 2014).

Technological innovations can improve caregivers’ ability to achieve a secure safety seat installations (Mirman et al., 2015) and caregiver-directed behavioural interventions can also be effective with the right components (Sartin et al., 2019).

Developmental analyses have found that younger children may be physically compatible with booster seats, but not behaviorally mature enough to use them appropriately (Sartin et al., 2020).

Research has identified the importance of considering parents’ needs and preferences for occupant protection in the design of automated vehicles (Lee & Mirman, 2018).  

A practical output of this work has been the Britax Clicktight line of safety seats, which has a mechanical alternative to LATCH.   


Project team
Jessica Hafetz Mirman Emma Sartin, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Yi-Ching Lee, George Mason University Sjaan Kopple, Monash
Catherine McDonald, University of Pennsylvania Leann Long, University of Alabama at Birmingham Minnesota Health Solutions