A study by car insurance provider LV= found that more than a quarter of family friends do not use child car or booster seats when travelling with children.
By law, children under the age of 12 and shorter than 135cm in height must be sitting in a fitted child or booster seat when in a car.
Without this, the risk of fatality or injury in the event of an accident rises by 71% and 69% respectively.
The new laws were introduced in 2006 and the research by LV= found that one in five (21%) of those who fail to comply with the law say they are unaware the guidelines even exist.
Worryingly, one in ten of those who are aware of the guidelines say they just disregard them and don’t bother to fit safety seats.
The research also found that even in cases when an appropriate car seat is used, almost a quarter of drivers (24%) say they do not check the safety seat is installed properly, potentially putting their young passengers in danger.
Commenting on the findings, John O’Roarke, managing director of LV=, said: “It’s clear that many drivers are still confused about the law and for one reason or another, are not following the legislation.
“So we’d urge all drivers to make sure they’re aware of the guidelines – child seats can take just five minutes to install and greatly reduce the chances of injury to everyone in the car.”
According to statistics, last year there were over 3,000 child casualties, including 121 fatalities, as a result of road accidents.