When children are in a vehicle collision, the use of a car seat can make a significant difference in whether the child is injured or killed. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle accidents are the top cause of fatalities for young children. However, the use of a car seat can reduce the chances of death by 71 percent if children are age one or under. For older children between the ages of one and four, the risk of death is reduced by 54 percent if a car seat is used and for children ages four to eight, the risk of death is reduced by 45 percent for a motor vehicle collision.
Unfortunately, many parents who try to use car seats will not get the full safety benefits because the car seat they use is defective. A personal injury lawyer knows that car seat recalls are common and that just 40 percent of people with a defective car seat actually get the repairs made. This is because there is no required car seat registration so manufacturers don't always know how to reach parents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched a campaign called "Don't Delay. Register Your Car Seat Today" to try to address this problem.
Improving Car Seat Safety for Children
The NHTSA has a new Parents Central where parents can register their car seats in order to be notified if a repair becomes necessary as a result of a recall. When a light car is recalled, as many as 75 percent of people make the repairs because light cars must be registered. This makes it easier for manufacturers to notify people who own these cars that a repair is necessary. Hopefully, if parents take advantage of the NHTSA's new feature, car seat recalls will be much more effective.
Defects in car seats are a very real risk. Just this year, the NHTSA spearheaded efforts to recall 7.4 million car seats because the seats had defective buckles. When a car seat is defective, children are put at risk. A child under the age of 13 is involved in a motor vehicle collision every 34 seconds in the United States, so it is essential that kids receive as much protection as possible.
The NHTSA also has taken other steps in the past to try to ensure that car seats are used safely. For example, the agency has a Car Seat Finder tool that allows parents to input their child's weight and age in order to determine the correct car seat to use.
Parents are also encouraged to follow other best practices for safety including:
- Reading all instructions and labels that come with a car seat to follow manufacturer guidelines.
- Have a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician check to make sure that a car seat is installed correctly.
Hopefully, by following these safety tips, fewer children will lose their lives to motor vehicle accidents this year in Phoenix, Glendale, Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Litchfield Park, Goodyear, Sun City and surrounding areas.
Contact a Phoenix accident attorney at Israel & Gerity after your accident. Call 888-900-3667 or visit http://www.ig-law.com to schedule your free consultation.