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Quick Tips from Our Lawyers: Child Passenger Safety

New reports from the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that more than one-third of all children under 13 years of age killed in automobile accidents in 2011 were not using car seats or wearing seat belts. Any traffic fatality is tragic, but the thought of a child having their life cut short by something that is so preventable is even more troubling.

Automobile accidents continue to be the leading cause of death among children, and 338 kids are injured each day while riding in motor vehicles. The NHTSA’s statistics reveal just how common unrestrained fatalities are among different vehicle types, with distributions as follows:

• SUVs-55%
• Pick-Up Trucks-43%
• Vans-40%
• Cars-24%

In honor of Child Passenger Safety Week, our lawyers would like to highlight some of the NHTSA’s important safety reminders for the use of child car seats, booster seats, and seat belts.

Make Sure Your Child is the Right Size For Their Seat-Children grow very rapidly, so it is extremely important that parents continuously monitor whether their child has outgrown their car seats ability to keep them safe.

Read the Instructions to Properly Install Your Child’s Car Seat-When it comes to keeping your children safe, don’t assume you know best without consulting the instructions. These are included to ensure that each car seat/booster seat is as safe and secure as possible.

Register Your Car Seat or Booster Seat at SaferCar.gov-As is the case with cars, child safety restraints are occasionally recalled because of defects. By registering your car or booster seat at SaferCar.gov, you will be able to receive up to date information on the status of your child’s restraint, ensuring they are as safe as possible.

Be a Good Example-Children mimic the actions that they see, especially those of people who they love and trust. For this reason, it is no surprise that unbuckled drivers are more likely to have unrestrained children in their vehicle, and children who are taught that seat belts and child restraints are unnecessary are more likely to pass these notions on to their own children. As a parent, it is important that you not only restrain your children, but that you also wear a seat belt yourself at all times. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

Our attorneys are committed to ensuring that all people remain safe while on the road, and also to holding negligent and reckless drivers accountable when they endanger those around them. If you are a concerned parent, or you are just interested in learning more about child passenger safety, you can find more information at NHTSA.gov and SaferCar.gov/TheRightSeat.