If you are a parent, your children’s safety is important to you. Unfortunately, although parents care about the safety of their children, sometimes the parent’s actions concerning child restraint in vehicles does not fit with the parent’s desire to keep their children safe. Fortunately, there are things you can do to better protect your children from car accident injuries and death.
While motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children 3-14, many of these deaths could be prevented by the proper use of things such as car seats, booster seats, and even just seat belts. While most parents using child safety seats think the seats are properly installed, seven out of ten seats are not properly installed. This puts the child at a higher risk of death and injury if they are involved in a vehicle crash. Sadly, some young children are completely unrestrained when riding in a vehicle.
If you are a parent with small children or if you often transport children in your vehicle, it is important to understand how to properly install car seats and booster seats. It is also important to know your local laws concerning the use of these devices.
According to Tennessee law, children 9 to 15 should be properly restrained in a seat belt. Children under 9 are required to be in the rear seat, if available, and those 9-13 are encouraged to be in a rear seat. Children less than a year old or less than 20 pounds should be in a rear-facing child seat, and those 1 to 4 or more than 20 pounds should be in a child seat. Children 4 to 9 and under 4 feet 9 inches should be in a booster seat. If your child falls along a cutoff point, it is generally best to go with the higher level of child restraint. In Tennessee, child restraint laws are a standard offense. This means you can be pulled over and fined simply for not obeying the child restraint law.
Of course, there are many parents who want to use car seats and booster seats properly, but they do not realize they are using the car seats and booster seats improperly. If you are currently using a car seat, check out the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recall of car seats. Because car seats do not last forever, it is also important to be aware of when your car seat expires. They are typically expected to be effective for six to eight years and should be replaced after that time. Even if you think you have your car seat properly installed, consider have it checked by a local certified technician who can inspect your car seat and explain how to properly install it. Just the simple step of making sure the seat is in good shape and is properly installed could save your child’s life.
Unfortunately, car accidents do happen. Whether you, your child, or another loved one is injured in a car accident, Nashville car accident attorneys can help you better understand your rights as a victim of an automobile crash. If you are the victim of a car crash, contact us.