Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death among U.S. children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports proper car seats reduce the risk of death for infants age one and under by as much as 71 percent. Proper use of car seats and booster seats also reduce the risk of injury to toddlers between the ages of one and four by 54 percent, and by 45 percent for children between the ages of four and eight.
Unfortunately, even when parents try to use car seats to protect their children, a personal injury lawyer knows too often car seats are defective or the seats are not installed correctly. TheNational Highway Traffic Safety Administration has introduced new tools to help parents use car seats more effectively and has launched a campaign to increase car seat safety.
Increasing Car Seat Safety
According to the NHTSA, a child under age 13 is involved in a motor vehicle collision every 34 seconds in the United States. More than 1/3 of children killed in motor vehicle collisions were not in car seats or were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash. Tragically, some of these children are injured or killed even when parents use a car seat.
The NHTSA has launched a new campaign called “Don’t Delay. Register Your Car Seat Today,” to allow parents to register their car seats on a mobile app that will alert them to recalls. Recalls are, unfortunately a common problem when it comes to car seats. In 2014, for example, the NHTSA pushed for the recall of more than 7.4 million car seats with defective buckles. While this may seem like a lot of recalled car seats, the reality is that an average of only 40 percent of people got their potentially defective car-seats fixed. By comparison, when a recall of light vehicles occurs, 75 percent of drivers get their cars fixed. This is because light vehicles are registered, as required by law, while car seats aren’t. Parents may not be properly notified of recalls and thus won’t know when they need to repair their car seat.
The NHTSA’s new Parental Central site hopes to change that by allowing parents to sign up for alerts if their particular brand of car seat turns out to have a problem.
The Parental Central site adds to the existing tools the NHTSA has in place to help parents ensure that children get the full protection of car seats. For example, a Car Seat Finder tool allows parents to input their child’s age and their child’s size in order to find the right seat for their son or daughter.
The NHTSA also urges parents to carefully read instructions that come with car seats and to visit a local car seat inspection station in order to have a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician help to make sure that the car seat is installed correctly. Taking these steps could perhaps save the life of a child.
Contact Bell & Pollock at (877) 744-5900 to schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer serving Denver, Greenwood Village and Steamboat Springs.