Do car seats offer effective protection in an automobile accident? Are there things that an auto lawyer recommends you do to enhance the effectiveness of your child's car seat? Child seats offer considerable protection for children in Kansas. However, a child seat alone is not enough to protect a child. The seat must be properly maintained, installed, and most importantly, used every time the child is transported within a vehicle.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) showed that 663 children under the age of 12 died in motor vehicle accidents in 2015. A further 121,350 were injured. Of those who died, only 35% were restrained at the time of the accident. These statistics highlight the importance of utilizing child safety seats and the consequences that can happen when children aren't properly secured within the vehicle.
There is a good chance that your car accident or auto lawyer is aware of CDC studies which show child car seats reduce the risk of fatality for infants by 71%, and for children between the ages of one to four years old by 54%. For children between the ages of four and eight, booster seats reduce fatality risk by 45%. These figures clearly show that car seats save lives and prevent injuries.
You can protect your child by choosing a new car seat that meets or exceeds Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213. It is not advisable for parents to install used car seats that were gifted to them or seats used by siblings, friends, or relatives that are six years or older. There are many reasons for this that stem from wear and tear and potential visible or hidden defects including cracked shells, loose buckles, and other damage that can diminish the effectiveness of a child restraint in an automobile accident. Your child can be injured by having an accident with a large truck, dump truck, tractor-trailer, 18 wheeler or other commercial motor vehicle and the child seat may help protect your child from death.
Parents should always choose the proper sized car seat for their child. This means choosing a seat that matches the child's height, weight, and age. Newborns and infant children should be placed in rear-facing seats. This can be exchanged for forward facing seats when the child reaches two years of age or when they reach the maximum size and weight of rear-facing seats. Children should not be moved into booster seats until they reach 40# or 8 years of age. Kansas law requires parents to secure children in booster seats until they weigh more than 80# or reach a height greater than 4'9" tall. In vehicles where only a lap belt is available, no booster seat is required.
It is estimated that up to 46% of car and booster seats are improperly installed. When installing a seat, it is crucial that the base of the child's car seat should also fit properly on the vehicle's seat. If the car seat is too large or too small it can wiggle while traveling, which can reduce crash protection. Finally, the most important step is to ensure the seat is properly installed in the vehicle. A child's car seat should never be installed in the front seat. During installation, you should carefully follow the instructions provided to ensure the loops, buckles, straps, etc. are properly fastened to the vehicle.
Brad Pistotnik Law is a law firm that concentrates our practice in motor vehicle related accidents involving semis, large trucks, commercial vehicles, fleet vehicles, motorcycle accidents, farm vehicle accidents and construction vehicle accident and represents clients whose children have been injured in an automobile accident in Kansas City, Lawrence, Coffeyville, Hays, Wichita, Garden City, Goodland, Colby, Hays, Kearney, Dodge City, Liberal and other cities throughout Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri and Illinois. Parents can pursue compensation to cover the child's medical expenses, pain and suffering, long-term care expenses, and other expenses that can arise in the wake of an auto accident.
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