According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 121,350 children ages 12 and under were injured and 602 chldren died in car accidents in 2014! Statistics like these are why September 17-23, 2017 is National Child Passenger Safety Week.
This hits close to home for anyone who loves and cares for children. In fact, car seat and seatbelt use saved the lives of both of my friend’s neices a few years ago. Sadly, this horrific accident claimed the lives of three adults in the same vehicle.
Here’s another story I’ll never forget:
A fifteen passenger van collided with a semi-truck on a high speed highway years ago wiping out almost the entire vanload of passengers. A tiny survivor was found still strapped into his car seat in the middle of the highway, basically uninjured.
You may have a similar story to tell. No doubt, child safety seats and seatbelts save lives!
Parents and caregivers, you can help protect our most precious natural resource — your children — whenever they travel in a vehicle.
Here are three simple steps to improve child passenger safety:
1.) Choose the right safety seat.
This sounds like a no-brainer. But, if you are a busy parent or childcare provider with multiple children, this step might fall through the cracks.
There are basically four types of car seats/restraints suitable for children — rear facing, forward facing, booster, and seat belt.
The appropriate type of child safety restraint changes with size and age.
For an excellent guide on which restraint is appropriate for your children’s size and age, check out this page: https://www.safercar.gov/parents/CarSeats/Car-Seat-Types.htm?view=full
2.) Check to see if your child safety seat may be unsafe due to excess usage or involvement in a car crash:
Sometimes budget constraints cause us to “make do” with what we have on hand. A car seat’s buckles and straps get worn out by multiple users, limiting their effectiveness in an auto accident.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Advisory (NHTSA) advises against reusing a car seat that has been in a moderate to severe car accident.
How do we define a moderate to severe car crash? Again, www.safercar.gov has a helpful brief guide here: https://www.safercar.gov/parents/CarSeats/Using-Car-Seat-After-Crash.htm?view=full
Did you know that you can get your car seat inspected for safety and correct installation for free?
To find a free inspection station near you, check out the link on NHTSA’s website. https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/car-seats#inspection-inspection
3.) Buckle up that tween in the back seat away from airbags. This may be the most difficult step to follow! Gulp.
We wear seat belts in our family. Period. That’s a non-negotiable. It’s also the law.
Riding in the car’s front passenger seat, however, is another battle for a coveted spot!
It’s common knowledge that many car accidents damage the front of the car. So, the back seat is usually safer for children ages 12 and under.
Why? That’s the question your tween will ask. Ha! Here’s your bullet-proof answer. Airbags deploy at approximately 200 mph.
Imagine the damage this could inflict to anyone, let alone a child! If you parent a tween, you will have to decide if this is a risk worth fighting for.
According to the Department of Motor Vehicles for the state of Missouri, children under 16 must wear a seat belt. Unfortunately, this does not apply to school buses or public carriers for hire. We have safety issues that still need to be addressed!
National Child Passenger Safety Week is just a friendly reminder to help you protect your most valuable treasures — your children.
If you or your child are injured in an auto accident due to another’s negligence, you need a car accident lawyer to fight for the compensation you deserve! A good car accident attorney will help you handle the insurance company as well as expertly represent you in court.
You will need money to cover injuries, damages, loss of work, and the many hidden costs of a car crash.
Do not settle with your insurance company without first contacting an experienced car crash attorney!
The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC believes in fighting aggressively for your rights. Call to schedule your free evaluation at 636-244-3737 today!
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