In 2017, 675 children aged 12 and under died in car accidents. Additionally, every 32 seconds in the United States a child is an occupant of a vehicle when a crash takes place. When a child is properly secured in a child car seat the risk for a fatal injury is reduced by 71 percent. There is no doubt that child car seats are critical to the safety of your children while driving in a car.
Modern guidelines recommend most children aged 8-12 years-of-age make use of booster seats. Children come in all shapes and sizes and so larger children may be in a booster for less time than that of smaller children. A basic rule of thumb is that if a child is big enough to properly sit in a seat and comfortably and use a seat belt they don’t need a special child seat. The way you can tell if they fit a seat belt is as follows:
- The shoulder belt will cross the shoulder and chest closely, it will not be high up on the child crossing the neck or face.
- The lap belt fits close to the upper thighs and not across the stomach.
The other thing you can look to for guidance is following the size limits of their booster seats and only moving them out of their booster when they exceed this range. If your child is big enough to use a regular seat belt make sure that they buckle up every time they are in a car. Getting them into the habit will have them doing it like second nature.
How Can You Find An Appropriate Car Seat?
There is a wide variety of options and brands of car seats to choose from. Here are some tips to help you with your selection:
- The seat you choose should match your child’s size and age and it should also fit well into the type of vehicle you drive.
- Each car seat has its instructions from the manufacturer that will include installation information as well as the height and weight range. If you are unable to properly install your child’s seat, you can contact Safe Kids Worldwide to get connected with a local child passenger safety technician (CPS).
- Always keep your child in the car seat as long as they fit the size requirements.
- Don’t allow your child to ride in the front seat until they are over the age of 12.
Do Car Seats Need To Be Replaced After A Crash?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA), in the event of a minor crash, a car seat does not need to be replaced. But if the crash is more intense, in the event of a moderate or severe crash, it must be replaced so that your child is completely protected the next time they ride in your vehicle.
A minor crash is one where:
- The vehicle can be driven after the crash
- There is no damage to the door that is near the car seat
- No one was injured in the crash
- No airbags were deployed
- No visible damage exists on the car seat
Have You Been In An Accident And Need Legal Representation In Wisconsin Or Illinois?
The Janesville automobile accident attorneys at the Alexander J. Smith Law Offices are here for victims of accidents who sustained injuries and need legal guidance and representation. Our Beloit personal injury lawyers will fight so that you see your full legal justice after an accident.
The Janesville personal injury lawyers at Alexander J. Smith Law Offices will take on the insurance companies on your behalf so that you obtain a fair settlement. Call us today to set up a free consultation at (608) 237-7035 for residents of Wisconsin or (815) 243-9686 for residents of Illinois.