Personal injury attorneys know how important car seats and seat belt can be. Recent reports reveal that third of the children who died in car accidents in the U.S. in 2011 were not properly buckled in. Proactive laws and increased standards for child car seat safety have actually netted positive results. The Centers for Disease Control reports that in the 10 years from 2002 through 2011, the annual rate of car accident deaths for children 12 and under declined more than 40 percent. However, the actual numbers are still unsettling. Sadly, even with such a substantial decrease, more than 9,000 children were killed in car accidents during that period.
Personal injury lawyers understand that millions of children are still at risk because there are still a significant number of children that are not properly buckled in during each and every car ride. Our children rely on us to keep them safe on our roadways. Car seats are not purchased for convenience like strollers. Car seats are designed to save your child’s life. The most important rule it to find a car seat that fits your child. Assess their car seat every six months because as children grow, how they sit in the car will invariably change. Make sure the car seat you choose is designed to fit your child’s current size and age group.
Car seats are generally installed and held securely in place using the vehicle seat belt. Also available is the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (or LATCH system). Both are equally safe, but in some vehicles it may be easier to install the car seat using the LATCH system. You might be surprised to know that proper fitting car seats are not all that common. The fact is that 3 out of 4 car seats are not used correctly.
For the best protection, provide your child with rear-facing car seats for as long as possible, or at least until they are about 2 years old. Height and weight limitations should be found on one of the sides or the back of the child car seat. Kids who ride in rear-facing seats are provided the safest position and greatest amount of protection against head, neck and spine injury. Whenever possible, make sure that your child is in a facing car seat, installed in the back seat, purposely away from the airbag.
Your safest option is to buy a brand new car seat for your child. You should only purchase a used car seat if you personally know of its full crash history. It is best to buy used car seats from people that you know and trust. It is best to refrain from buying car seats from a thrift store or over the internet. Once a car seat has been involved in a car crash, it should be immediately replaced.
A Charlotte, NC personal injury attorney
It is important to remember that no matter how safe you try to be, negligent and irresponsible people are on the road with you. This is why the accident and injury attorneys at the Olive Law Firm of Charlotte, NC are also ready to work for you and your family. If you or a family member ends up injured as the result of a negligent act or an act of omission; call the offices of the Olive law Firm for a free consultation with a Charlotte personal injury attorney.