Child Passenger Safety in the Car

Motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of death for children between the ages of 3 and 14 years.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2009 alone, 5,366 children under age 14 were involved in a fatal auto accident.  An astounding 46% of the children killed were not properly restrained by seat belts or booster seats.  That means that almost half of the deaths could have been prevented had their parents practiced appropriate safety for their child passengers.  If your child is killed in an auto accident due to someone else's negligence, you may be able to recover by bringing a wrongful death claim.  Call an attorney today to discuss your case.

The best way to protect your younger child is to make sure they are in the correct protective safety seat.  There are many different designs, manufacturers, and models of car seats, and the type of car seat needed changes as the child ages, so it is no wonder that parents can feel confused or overwhelmed.  The NHTSA and other organizations have simple guides to car seat choices on the internet, and pamphlets that parents can order to educate themselves. 

A child should have a booster seat until he or she reaches 4'9,” which usually happens between ages 8 and 12.  Once your child outgrows his or her booster seat, it is the perfect opportunity to teach them about passenger safety, especially if your child rides in cars owned and driven by other adults.  Until age 12, your child should continue sitting in the back seat because children in the front seat are up to 40% more likely to suffer serious injury.  Also, you should make it very clear to your child that he or she should always, without fail, wear a seat belt.  Teaching good seat belt practices early makes it more likely your child will continue wearing seat belts once they start driving or leave home.  Also, set a good example by always buckling up yourself.  If your child does not see you wearing your seat belt, they will not take your instructions to do so themselves very seriously.

Finally, in the terrible event that your child is injured or even killed in a car crash, make sure you contact an auto accident and wrongful death attorney at (980) 246-2656 to see if you have a claim against the other driver.  At the Law Offices, of Shane Smith, we are dedicated to representing you and your family, and are happy to meet with you for a free consultation.

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