Washington, DC (NAPSI) - U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood recently announced the launch of a series of new public service announcements (PSAs) released in partnership with the Ad Council that promote child car safety among parents of children ages newborn to 12.

According to the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 1 through 12 years old. From 2006 to 2010, 4,028 children ages 12 and younger were killed in crashes and another estimated 660,000 children were injured in crashes involving a passenger vehicle. However, NHTSA reports that child restraints in the vehicle saved the lives of an estimated 9,611 children ages 4 and younger from 1975 to 2010.

“While safety is our top priority for everyone on our roadways, we’re calling on parents to do everything they can to protect our most vulnerable passengers,” said Secretary LaHood. “These new public service announcements will encourage parents to choose the right seat for their children and properly secure them every time they get behind the wheel.”

Working with the Ad Council as part of an ongoing campaign to ensure child car safety, NHTSA unveiled new PSAs that will air on television, radio, online and in outdoor advertising nationwide. “The Right Seat” effort aims to make sure all parents and caregivers are properly securing children ages 12 and under in the right car restraint (rear-facing, forward-facing, booster, seat belt) for their age and size. Targeting parents and caregivers who think their children are already using the right car seats, the key message of the PSAs is “Parents who really know it all, know for sure their child is in the right car seat.”

“The proper use of a child seat is the most effective way to keep a child safe in a moving vehicle,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. “Parents and caregivers should always use a child seat and, based on NHTSA’s updated guidelines, should keep their children in their current seats for as long as possible before moving them up to the next type of seat.”

Coinciding with the release of the new PSAs, NHTSA also launched “Parents Central,” a new one-stop-shop website with tools and resources for keeping children safe in and around cars.

For more than 25 years, the Ad Council and NHTSA have worked together on consumer safety PSA campaigns. Previous campaigns targeted individual stages of child passenger safety; i.e., the LATCH system, booster seats and seat belts. The English-language PSAs were created pro bono by advertising agency Gotham, Inc.

“We are proud to partner with Secretary LaHood, Administrator Strickland and NHTSA to extend our more than 25-year partnership with NHTSA by releasing new PSAs that address the absolute importance of child car safety,” said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council.

For more information, visit www.SaferCar.gov/TheRightSeat.