The aftermath of a car accident is something that no family should have to go through, but parents and children suffer serious injuries in collisions around the United States every day. Our injury lawyers have fought and won many cases protecting kids from having their lives changed by the negligence of other people on the road. You may not be able to plan for everything that is going to happen on the road, but you can take proactive measures to ensure that your child is as safe as possible when riding in your vehicle.
Today, a larger percentage of parents are choosing to put their children in the rear of the car in age appropriate restraints that every before. In early 2000, less than 90% of 0-4 year olds were sitting in the back seat, but this has jumped all the way up to 99% in 2013. While this is a great start, many studies have shown that the best way to keep your child safe is to go the extra step, and get them an age and size appropriate car seat. Seat belts are designed for adults above a certain height and weight. They go across the middle of the body and over the shoulder, which transfers much of the stopping force to the ribcage and pelvis to disperse it. However, this is only effective if the apparatus fits correctly, and this means that when a child is too short or does not weigh enough, they can still be seriously hurt in a car accident. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
Your car seats and restraints are specifically designed for the smaller bodies of infants and children, and disperse the impact of a car accident away from their delicate heads and internal organs. If you are the parent of a young child or are expecting, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Parents Central webpage has the following recommendations:
• As stated above, make sure the seat is appropriate for your child’s size and weight, and choose a seat that fits well in your vehicle. Remember to remain cognizant of when your child needs to be moved to a bigger seat.
• Follow all the specifics of your car seat manufacturer’s instructions, especially when installing the restraint system.
• To maximize safety, you should keep your child in a car seat as long as possible, and as long as they are below the maximum height and weight requirements of the manufacturer. Children should also sit in the back seat until at least age 12. (NHTSA)
Our lawyers know that a child is precious cargo, and if they have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, a parent has a lot to worry about. Our attorneys can help you navigate the judicial system so that you can worry about your family.