Do you have a young child? If you do, you should know that a shocking number of parents do not use car seats correctly to protect their children in the event of car accidents. Automobile accidents are one of the leading causes of injury and death for children in the United States. And while it is impossible to predict when you might be involved in a car accident, there are still certain steps you can take to ensure your own safety and the safety of your children if the unfortunate event of an accident occurs.
For that reason, it is important to make sure your children are properly restrained in your vehicle, especially during the upcoming holidays. When it comes to car seats, improper usage can actually have the opposite of the intended effect, making your child more likely to suffer injury.
Statistics Regarding Restraint Use by Children
- There is a correlation between car seat use and driver’s seat belt use. According to Safe Ride 4 Kids, almost 40 percent of children riding with unbelted drivers are themselves unrestrained.
- According to the CDC, one study found that in one year, more than 618,000 children in the United States aged infant to 12 rode at least some of the time without any form of restraint.
- According to Safe Ride 4 Kids, anywhere from 72 to 84 percent of child restraints show critical misuse. Common forms of misuse include using the wrong seat for a child’s age and weight, loose safety belt attachments and loose harness straps.
- Another statistic suggests that 96 percent of parents believe they are using their child safety seat correctly, despite the fact that many are not.
Common Car Seat Mistakes
- If you plan on using a used car seat, make sure you are aware of its history. It should come with instructions and a label showing manufacture date and model.
- Make sure it has not been recalled.
- Make sure you place it in the right place. The safest place is the back seat, away from active air bags.
- Make sure it is reclined at the right angle if it is rear-facing.
- Resist the urge to move to a forward-facing car seat too soon. Rear-facing is recommended for children aged 2 or younger, and be sure you pay attention to the weight limit for your particular model.
If your child does suffer an injury in a car accident due to the negligence of another party, do not hesitate to call our Lafayette personal injury law firm.