Children aged 13 and under are involved in a motor vehicle accident every 34 seconds in the United States according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). When a collision occurs, a child's chances of surviving and minimizing injury are dependent upon the force and location of the collision, as well as on whether a car seat is properly used and works effectively.
But an experienced personal injury lawyer knows many parents who try to use car seats to keep their kids end up with a defective seat that does not do the job. The NHTSA is trying to change this by helping parents find the right car seat and by introducing a new tool that will make it easier for parents to learn when a car seat has been recalled.
NHTSA Introduces New Tools to Keep Kids Safe
A car seat can make a huge difference in the impact of a motor vehicle collision on a child. The NHTSA indicates that 1/3 of kids who are involved in fatal car crashes are not wearing a car seat or secured in a seat belt in the crash that takes their life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also report that a child age one and under has a 71 percent greater chance of being killed in a collision while not in a car seat as compared to when properly secured.
Even for older children, use of a car seat has a significant reduction on death rates. For example, for kids between the ages of one and four, use of a car seat reduces the death risk by 54 percent and for kids between the ages of four and eight, a car seat can reduce the death toll by 45 percent.
Because a car seat makes such a difference, it is devastating when a defect in this safety devices puts children at risk of getting hurt. Unfortunately, defects in car seats are far more common than most parents would like to believe. Just in 2014, the NHTSA pushed for the recall of 7.4 million car seats due to a problem with the buckle.
When a car seat is recalled, many parents are not properly notified. This is because there is no legally required registration of car seats and manufacturers can't always get in touch with parents who have bought their products. When a light vehicle has a defect and is recalled, 75 percent of drivers get the repairs made. With recent car seat recalls, only 40 percent of parents got the repairs made.
The NHTSA hopes to change this with its new Parent Central site. Parents can register their car seats and be notified by the manufacturer of a vehicle recall. The NHTSA also has other tools that are available for parents as well to try to ensure car seats work effectively. For example, a Car Seat Finder available from the NHTSA allows parents to input their child's weight and age and find the right car seat or booster seat for them. By using these tools, hopefully parents can reduce the chances that a problem with a car seat will have devastating results.
A Detroit accident lawyer can help victims in the city and surrounding suburbs including Warren and Sterling Heights. Contact Fraser & Souweidane P.C. at (866) 465-9095 or visit https://www.fsattorneys.com to schedule a free consultation.