Almost half of children, aged four to 12, are at risk of serious injury from side-on car collisions, according to Which? magazine.
To mark today's start of Child Safety Week, Which? surveyed more than 1,000 parents of children, aged between four and 12, who should by law use a child car seat.
The poll showed that 17% did not use a car seat at all, and a further 30% used backless booster cushions which, though they meet legal requirements, offer less protection than full-sized child car seats in side-on crashes.
Which? chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith said: “Every year in the UK, around 30 children under 12 years of age are killed while travelling in cars, and a further 300 are seriously injured.”
The consumer magazine said around 25% of car accidents involve a side-on collision. It is working with consumer groups across the EU to see the legal minimum standards for child car seats raised.