Car accidents occur every single day, with or without fatalities. In 2013 alone, 232,014 people were injured in car accidents, which equates to 1 person being killed every 2 hours and 36 minutes. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, car crashes are also the leading cause of death for children aged one through twelve. If parents would exercise better safety seat knowledge and restraint procedures, this figure could be significantly cut in half.
When using car seats, parents need to be aware of safety seats and whether or not they are built for your specific needs. Not only is it important to use child seats that have passed inspection, but it’s just as important to learn how to use a child seat the proper way.
Our firm takes a vested interest in making sure parents have the education they need to keep their children secure. As a child seat accident lawyer, we see a number of accidents that could have been prevented if the child seat had been used properly. Here are a few tips and things to look out for:
Use the Proper Recline
Based on age, there are some seats that should be rear-facing. When operating a car seat in this manner, the back must be no more than 45 degrees vertically, which decreases as the child grows. When using a forward-facing seat, the chair should be fully upright for the most safety. Depending on what type car seat you have, there will be instructions and a level, but some manufacturers have been known to misrepresent their instructions.
The shoulder harness is one of the most important components of the seat. In a rear-facing seat, the straps should be below or right at the shoulders. In forward-facing seats, the strap should be in the slot right at or below the shoulders. Again, manufacturers mislabel their instructions so knowing the proper procedure is key.
A chest clip should be placed directly onto the chest for protection. Having it too low will not provide the safety needed in case of an accident. Make sure the clip is spring-loaded to provide better protection.
The base of the seat should be strong. If the seat is moving due to seatbelt placement, you should consider purchasing another type of seat that will work well in your vehicle. Car seats are designed to fit stationary onto the seat without moving.
Make sure the belt is not twisted and in the proper position to alleviate the weight load. If not, the harness runs the risk of separation in the event of an accident.
Seat Belt Capture
This is a red flag among booster seats that have no back. Booster seats that do not allow the seatbelt to lock in place puts the child in danger because the booster seat could potentially slip. Using a seat that will make sure the seat belt can keep it properly secured and positioned is essential in ensuring the safety of the child.
Working with a McAllen accident attorney can work to your benefit when you’ve been in an accident. Knowing you have an advocate that can educate and represent you throughout this process is invaluable. If you have been in an accident, or know someone who has been in an accident in Texas, contact GOMLaw accident attorneys in McAllen and get a free consultation!