According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle injuries are one of the leading causes of death among children in the United States. As unfortunate as these fatal injuries may be, many of them can be prevented. In 2013, 638 young children under the age of 12 died as occupants in car accidents, and more than 127,250 were injured. Of these fatalities, 38 percent of the children were not properly buckled in a child car seat or booster.
Why Are Car Seats So Important?
Although seatbelts and airbags are important safety devices in automobiles for adults, these very devices that promote safety can be disaster for younger children. Since seatbelts cannot provide young children with the safety that they need in the event of an accident, these young passengers must be properly secured in a car seat.
According to federal law, children up to 60 pounds traveling in a car must be protected in a booster seat or baby car seat. A properly used car seat can reduce the risk of death by more than 70 percent for infants and 54 percent for children between the ages of 1 and 4 in the event of an accident. Although you may not be able to totally avoid an accident when your child or children are in the car, you can significantly reduce serious injuries or even death in the event of an accident.
3 Types of Car Seats
There are three types of car seats that you should use, depending on the age of the child that will be using it:
- Rear facing: Rear facing car seats are designed to be used with the child facing the back of the vehicle. These particular car seats are used for infants and young toddlers.
- Convertible: Certain types of car seats can be used as both rear and front facing. These seats can be strapped rear facing when the child is young but can be turned to forward facing as the child becomes a toddler. Each state has its own rules as to what age and weight a child can be facing forward.
- Booster seat: Booster seats are used for older toddlers and younger children to ensure safe positioning of a normal car seat belt on the child.
Car seats may not bulletproof your child from injury in the event of accident. However, it can keep from suffering major harm and significantly reducing the likelihood of serious injuries and death.
Call a New York Car Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident that was caused by the reckless actions of another party, you may have a valid personal injury claim and may be entitled to monetary compensation, even if you are a child.