Child-related road safety issues

How to Protect Children in Vehicles with Side Airbags

Transport Canada has conducted extensive tests on side air bags with child crash test dummies. While testing is still ongoing, two main conclusions stand out:

  • Children who are leaning against a side air bag when it inflates are at risk of serious injury.
  • Children who are kept away from the path of the side air bag — for example, children travelling in age-appropriate, correctly installed child restraints — are not at risk of serious injury.

Transport Canada has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Canadian and international motor vehicle manufacturers. Manufacturers have agreed to design future air bags to meet the requirements of side air bag test protocols recommended by the Side Air Bag Out-of-Position Injury Technical Working Group.

Child Restraint Safety

Transport Canada knows how important child car seat safety is when you’re out and about in your vehicle. To this end, Transport Canada (TC) wants to let you know that TC recently launched its Child Car Seat Safety campaign to help parents and caregivers choose and install the appropriate child car seat and to determine if your child is ready to ride using a seat belt only. The campaign, which runs until the end of March 2023, consists of four ads that will run on Facebook and Instagram. These ads have a link to our campaign page which has helpful information on things to consider before getting started on your search and includes a reminder to review provincial and territorial requirements for additional guidance; it also has links to tips on what to look for if you’re shopping for a child car seat online or across the border.

We encourage you to visit the campaign page either by clicking on “Learn More” in the social media ad when you see them pop up in your feeds or by using the links below:

Child Restraint Inspection Clinics

Many communities offer free car seat inspections to assist parents and caregivers on the proper installation of child restraints. To find out about these services in your community, please contact: Transport Canada.

Seat Belts on School Buses

School bus transportation is incredibly safe, but does that mean seat belts are not necessary on school buses? Dr. Alan German, Chief of Collision Investigations in the Road Safety Directorate at Transport Canada, led a discussion surrounding seat belts and school buses at the Road Safety Conference in Winnipeg on Dec. 6, 2001. Participants in the discussion included school board officials from various regions of Manitoba.