Car accidents are leading cause of death for American children, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that 3 out of 4 children are NOT properly restrained while riding in vehicles.
Failing to properly secure your children or grandchildren when they ride in your vehicle can have very serious consequences if you get into an accident.
Unlike Colorado’s general seatbelt law, failure to properly restrain a child is a primary offense. If an officer sees an unrestrained or improperly restrained child in your vehicle, you can be pulled over and ticketed.
Sometimes, children may not be properly restrained by accident. Those car seats can be tricky!
So, how do you know for sure if your child is properly restrained? Here’s how:
- Read the instructions: Even if you’re the type that never reads the instructions for anything, DO IT FOR THIS! The potential consequences for getting this wrong just aren’t worth it.
- Go to a certified inspector to make sure you installed the car seat correctly: If you are a brand-new parent, your birthing center will probably have someone who can check your seat before your newborn’s first ride home. Also, the place where you bought the seat probably has someone knowledgeable to help you out, though they may not be certified. Your local fire station may be able to help you as well.
- Check the tightness of the harness once your child is fastened in the seat: If you can pinch the shoulder straps between your fingers, tighten a little more.
- Take bulky clothing (like coats or snow suits) off your child before strapping them in (even in cold winter weather): Put the coat or a blanket back over them once they are secure.
- Check the seat regularly to ensure it is still tight and properly secured: Refer back to the instructions if necessary.
- Make sure the seat is the right size and is facing the proper direction for your child (based on size and weight): As your child grows, you will have to adjust or switch out the seat.
Of course, no matter how careful you may be, accidents happen. Make sure you have done everything you can to keep you child safe before the accident occurs. If you or your child gets hurt in an car accident, contact a Denver car accident attorney at Bell & Pollock, P.C. for experienced help establishing your Legal Game Plan for financial recovery. Call (720) 613-6736 or email us for a free, no obligations consultation and essential information regarding your legal options.