Among the most unsafe places for a child may be the backseat of a car. A survey of 4,000 vehicles found 65 percent of car seats to be improperly fitted. Arguably more dangerous, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that the majority of Americans have traveled with an infant or toddler who was not in a car seat.
Families wanting to keep their children safe on the road often face a lack of money and awareness. Regional auto club AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah saw these hurdles and formed a multifaceted community impact program to alter patterns of unsafe travel that endanger children.
Both funded and operated by the company, AAA NCNU’s Child Passenger Safety Program utilizes the talent of its employees and the resources of partner agencies to provide assistance to the AAA member base and the general public.
AAA NCNU donates a car seat or booster seat for every employee to charities and other community organizations, who distribute them to low-income families who might otherwise have to travel with their children in risky situations.
The company also trains employees to serve as certified car- or booster-seat technicians. Currently, almost 100 employees provide free inspections and educational assistance at 95 tristate branch locations.
In addition to these initiatives, AAA NCNU works with local law enforcement to operate the AAA School Safety Patrol Program. The program engages over 10,000 elementary school children to learn proper pedestrian practices and keep their school zones safe.
Over the past year, AAA NCNU doubled its investment in car safety to $175,000. As a result, technicians provided over 2,000 free seat inspections and local agencies distributed 2,850 donated car seats and booster seats to underserved families. Additionally schools and agencies have already reached out to the company for future collaboration, a move the company says sets the program up for continued impact.
For its commitment to the safety of child passengers, AAA NCNU is the 2016 Optimas Award Gold winner for Corporate Citizenship.