If you think putting your child in their car seat or booster seat is a no brainer, the CDC has some data to show you.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released their new report about child passenger safety and the numbers show improvement, but there is still a long way to go.

CDC Director Tom Frieden says car crashes are still a big cause of death, "The death rate in the U.S. is two or three times higher than the death rate in other countries from motor vehicle crashes."

The CDC recommends using a child safety seat for children under four and a boster seat for kids aged four to eight.  According to the CDC a booster seat can reduce the risk of injury in a crash by 40%.  For children over eight a seat belt can reduce the risk by 50%.

Director Frieden says it is not all bad news, over the past ten years the number killed in car crashes has declined by 40%, "The tragic news is that still with that decrease, more than 9,000 kids were killed on the road in this period.  Thousands of children are at risk on the road because they are not buckled up." 

Dr. Erin Sauber-Schatz with the CDC says a big part of the gains over the last 10 years is state requirements for booster seats, "Car seat and booster seat use tripled among five states that increased the required age for car seat and booster seat use to seven or eight years."

In the U.S. about a dozen children under the age of 12 are killed each week in car crashes.