Child passenger road traffic safety: choosing the right car seat
Using the correct type of car seat for your child can mean the difference between life and death in the event of a car collision. Selecting a car seat for your child will depend on many factors, including age, weight, and state laws. By researching which type and style of car seat will work for your infant or young child you can ensure they have the proper protection on the road to prevent an injury or fatality. At MVP Accident Attorneys, we have created a guide that will help you find a safe car seat from infancy until your child reaches a weight and age when a car seat is no longer required, based on state law.
Different Types of Car Seats Available
Each type of car seat is designed for a different age and size of child. The most important thing is to make sure you have the right car seat for your child, based on a seat's age requirement, height requirement, size limits, and maximum weight.
Car seat options include:
- Infant car seats/rear-facing seats
- Convertible car seats
- Front-facing car seats
- Booster seats
Rear-Facing Car Seat/Infant Car Seat
A rear-facing car seat is for babies and toddlers up to 2 years old. The seat goes in the back seat of the car, facing the rear of the car. These types of rear-facing seats are the safest for babies because it cradles their head and neck in the event of a crash.
A forward-facing car seat is for children who are 2 to 8 years old and have outgrown their rear-facing car seat. The forward-facing seat goes in the back seat of the car and has a harness to keep the child in place in case of a crash.
Booster seats are for children who are 8 to 12 years old and have outgrown their forward-facing car seats. The seat is similar to a regular car seat, but it is designed to boost the child up so that the car's seat belt fits properly.
Convertible Car Seats
A convertible car seat is a type of car seat that can be used for both infants and toddlers. It can be converted from a rear-facing seat for babies to a forward-facing seat for older children. This means that parents only need to buy one car seat instead of multiple models as their child grows.
Convertible seats keep children safe during car accidents by using straps and harnesses to keep the child securely in the seat. The straps go over the child's shoulders and across the lap to hold them in place. This prevents the child from moving too much and getting injured during an accident. The seat itself is also designed to absorb some of the impact of a crash, which can help protect the child's head and neck from injuries.
Adult Seat Belts
A vehicle seat belt is for children who are over 8 years old or over a height of 4 '9 and have outgrown their booster seat. It uses the car's own seat belt to hold the child securely in place.
How to Select the Correct Car Seat for Your Child
The most important factor to keep in mind when selecting a car seat is that it must be appropriate for the size and weight of your child. Depending on your local regulations, you may need to purchase a car seat that meets the appropriate safety standards for your region. Additionally, you should ensure the car seat is properly installed in the vehicle and secured with either a lap or shoulder belt according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Car Seat Safety Features
Safety features to look for when selecting a car seat include side-impact protection, adjustable headrests, five-point harnesses, and energy-absorbing foam. You should also ensure any car seat you purchase comes with an expiration date so that it is not used past its recommended lifespan. Lastly, always remember to register your car seat so that you can be contacted in the event of a recall.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Defective Car Seat?
If you're in a car accident and a car seat fails to protect your child you may be entitled to compensation.
When a car seat is designed and made, there are a few different entities or companies that could be held liable if something goes wrong.
- The car seat manufacturer can be held responsible if the seat was not made properly or if there was a defect in the materials used.
- Next, the store or person that sold you the car seat could be held liable if they knew the car seat was defective.
- If the car accident was caused by the negligence of another driver, they could be held responsible for damages.
It's important to note that the liability may depend on the specific scenario. If the seat is proven to be manufactured and marketed in good faith, the seat may not be to blame for your child’s injuries. In general, if you're in an accident, it's best to talk to a lawyer who can help you figure out who might be responsible and help you get the compensation you and your child need to recover from the accident.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer at MVP Accident Attorneys Today
If you were involved in an auto accident and your child was injured due to a defective or unsafe car seat, contact a product liability attorney today at MVP Accident Attorneys. We offer free, no-obligation consultations. You can meet with an attorney to discuss your case and learn how we can help you pursue a product liability claim to recover compensation for injuries, pain and suffering, and other losses.
Brett S. Sachs graduated from Michigan State University College of Law with Cum Laude Honors. While attending Michigan State, Brett was awarded for his service in the Michigan State University College of Law Civil Rights Clinic, where he represented prisoners of the Michigan Department of Corrections from injustices brought upon them. Learn more.
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