After Nissan celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Snug Kids Program last month during Child Passenger Safety Week, many parents should have heeded the automakers word to ensure their children's safety while driving.

Nissan provided safety tips and tools for their vehicles, helping parents determine the proper size of a child safety seat and providing suggestions on how to properly install the seats facing frontwards and backwards.

"Ten years ago Nissan made child passenger safety a priority and pioneered the Snug Kids program to help parents ensure the safety of their most precious cargo," said Bob Yakushi, director of product safety with Nissan North America. "We are proud to be the only automaker who offers a comprehensive seat fit guide for all of our products with a back seat."

If Child Passenger Safety Week didn't convince parents to utilize child safety seats, a recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics should. The research showed that New Orleans laws requiring children to use a booster seat up until the age of eight has been associated with fewer motor vehicle fatalities and severe injuries compared to states which didn't have as stringent booster seat laws in place.

"Many states have booster seat laws," said Lois Lee, the senior author of the abstract. "However, there are different requirements for how long the child should remain in the booster seat. Our analysis supports the fact that booster seat laws should follow AAP standards to optimally protect children when they are riding in a motor vehicle."

In the 10-year period of the AAP study, there were 9,848 fatalities and incapacitating injuries in children ages 4 to 8. The study showed that states with stricter booster seat laws saw a 20 percent reduction in fatalities and incapacitating injuries for children four to six years old and a 33 percent reduced death and incapacitating injury rate for children seven and eight years old when compared to states without similar laws.

The study also showed that children ages 4 to 6 only secured by a lap/shoulder belt had a 20 percent greater chance of death or incapacitating injury when compared to children who were properly restrained in a booster seat.

Car owners should also follow their state's booster seat laws and might want to consider keeping children in booster seats longer. In addition, auto maintenance is crucial to the safety of all passengers in the vehicle. Motorists should be sure to have brakes, lighting and engines checked before hitting the road.