national Child Passenger Safety Week and our experienced attorneys are dedicated to increasing awareness of
this issue and educating the public on protecting child passengers, preventing
serious injury, and in the unfortunate instance of an injury, what protections
the courts provide to you.
You should already know that infants, toddlers, and children in the early
years of elementary school should be seated in an appropriate car seat
when riding in a motor vehicle. Many hospitals will have a staff member
walk a newborn out to the car with the parents to ensure that a car seat
is installed in the vehicle. Of course, regulations in New York State
require that children be placed in appropriate safety restraint seats.
Experienced Kingston car accident attorneys know that children riding in car seats are less likely to be killed in
the event of a motor vehicle collision. The severity of non lethal injury
is also reduced when car seats are used.
With that said, buying and placing a car seat in a motor vehicle is the
easy part of a parent’s job. But mistakes can be made in the process.
Parents must take the time to become educated about car seats and to purchase
the correct one for their child; such will depend on the child’s
size and age.
Infants and toddlers under the age of two should ride in a rear facing
car seat. These young children may still need to stay in such a car seat
beyond the age of two so long as the seat manufacturer’s specifications
are adhered to. These are necessary to prevent serious injury or death
of an infant or toddler in a
A forward facing car seat with a harness is the next seat that toddlers
will graduate to. When children become too big for these, then a booster
seat should be used so that the vehicle safety belt can be properly used.
If you need some extra motivation to use car seats, consider that
infant car accident deaths are reduced 71% when the child is riding in a car seat. It is reduced
54% for toddlers. For children as old at eight, booster seats reduce serious
injury risks by 45%.
In spite of these facts, over 600,000 children under age 13 ride without
the benefits of car seats and seat belts at least some times when riding
in motor vehicles.
While it is important to properly use an effective car seat, it is also
important to understand where in a vehicle a child is safest. In sedans,
the back seat is the safest place for children to sit. In larger vehicles,
such as mini vans, the middle row is safest.
Unnecessary child injury can occur, however, even when the child was properly
placed in a car seat. This is because some car seats can be defective.
Parents are entitled to hold car seat manufacturers liable if a car seat
was defective and the child was injured in a
History has shown that car seats can be defectively manufactured and or
designed. Fabrics can be dangerously flammable, neck and head support
can be lacking, latches and locks can be defective, and the warning and
or instructions can be inadequate.
Any of these design and manufacturing defects can lead to a child’s
death in the event of a car accident. Non lethal injuries are devastating
as well. Paraplegia, skull fractures, traumatic brain injuries, spinal
cord injuries, broken limbs, and lacerations are common injuries suffered
by children in motor vehicle accidents. The injury suffered most by children in
car accidents is head injuries.
By way of conclusion, we leave you with some parting advice on how to make
car seat travel safer for your child.
Always buy a new (not used) car seat. Used car seats can be outdated, damaged,
and or subject to a recall. The used car seat could have been in an accident
before, weakening the structural integrity of the car seat.
Carefully read the safety and installation instructions when you purchase
the car seat. Also register the car seat so that you will receive recall
notifications. Also read the car owner manual so that you learn about
the best ways to install the seat in your specific vehicle.