Car accidents are one way in which a frightening amount of children are injured or killed every year. For some of these children, A child car safety seat could have reduced the a car safety seat or booster seat could have reduced the severity of their injuries – or even saved the child’s life. But to be of any benefit, the child safety seat must be properly installed. Continue reading to learn how you can protect your child’s life in a car accident by taking the simple preventative measure of using a car safety seat.
Child Passenger Safety Statistics
The numbers show a clear cautioning for Indianapolis parents: if your young children do not ride in a car in an appropriate car seat, they are at risk of serious injury or death. Contemplate these findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- 638 children ages 12 years and younger died in car accidents nationwide and over 125,000 were injured, in one recent year alone.
- Those that were killed, almost 4%—4 out of 10 children—were not adequately secured in a car safety seat.
- Annually, it is predicted that more than 600,000 children are passengers in a car without a child safety seat or booster seat.
- One study found that over 70% of almost 3,500 observed car safety seats and booster seats were not setup correctly and elevated a child’s risk of injury during a crash.
As a parent, in order to protect your child from the unknown and unpreventable, you take certain precautions. If you child appears feverish or ill, the doctor is consulted, and if he or she feels threatened or scared you most likely have safety plans. Having your child ride in an approved and properly installed car seat or booster seat should also be a priority of concerned parents.
Indiana Child Car Seat Law
Indiana laws command the use of seat belts and approved car seats for children. While traveling in a car or other vehicle, all children from birth to eight years of age must be secured in a car seat or booster seat, according to Indiana law. The car seat should be properly installed to maximize the safety benefits to the child and must be appropriate for the age and size of the child. The child must wear a seatbelt if he or she it too big for a car seat or booster seat. All children ages eight years old to 16 years old must wear a seatbelt while in a moving vehicle. Additionally, children 12 years old and younger must sit in the rear of a vehicle’s passenger compartment.
A child under 20 pounds must use a rear-facing child safety seat, although it is recommended that children use a rear-facing child safety seat for as long as possible. A child who is over the age of one and who weighs at least 20 pounds can use a forward-facing car seat furnished with an internal harness system.
Violations of these laws can result in the driver of the vehicle being responsible for fines and other court-related costs. Older children who do not wear a seatbelt may also be cause for a fine.
The Dangers of Improperly Installed Car Seats
A car seat that is improperly installed can be just as dangerous to a child as having no car seat at all. The following story out of Arizona is just instance where a child was injured due to an improperly installed car seat. On July 13, 2015, a couple was riding in their SUV with the woman’s three-year-old daughter in the vehicle. Their SUV was blasted by a, irresponsible teen motorist and the SUV rolled over numerous times. During the accident, the little girl was flung from the SUV and landed on the asphalt. As a result she suffered a fractured arm, leg, and skull and was taken from the scene of the accident in serious condition.
In order to provide the best possible benefit to a child, car seats and booster seats must be installed and used properly. If a car set is not installed correctly, the child can become dislodged during the crash and as a result can be flung around the interior of the vehicle until finally ejected from the vehicle. If the child is not the correct size for the child seat that child may not stay restrained in the event of an accident, causing serious bodily harm.
How to Correctly Install a Car Seat
Instructions are provided with the purchase of a new car seat that explain the proper way ti install the car seat. Make sure all tethers and straps are properly secured when you are installing a car seat and placing your child in the car seat. Additionally, you might want to consider testing the child seat to be certain it has been installed correctly. The following are two widely used methods of doing this:
The “inch test”
Check for any sliding or movement by skiing the car seat at its base. A car seat that is correctly If the car seat was properly installed, it will not move more than one inch in any direction.
The “pinch test”
Pinch the strap of the harness at the child’s shoulder with the child placed securely in the car seat. You child is properly accurately secured if you are unable to pinch excess webbing.
Where Can I Get a Car Seat Installed Correctly?
If you feel that you are unable to properly install your child’s car seat of if doubt whether or not you have purchased the correct size, you are encouraged to take your vehicle at car seat to to any number of car seat installation inspections sites in and around the Indianapolis area. At these locations, parents can have their child seat inspected for flaws or defects and can learn how to install their car seat correctly.
Look to a Compassionate Indianapolis Child Accident Lawyer
At Rowe & Hamilton Attorneys at Law, we love children. That is why we are so passionate about assisting parents and families whose children have been injured in accidents caused by other people’s negligence. We help parents recover financial compensation after an Indianapolis child injury accident so that the parents do not need to worry about where they will come up with money for the child’s medical bills or how they will cope with other related expenses and costs.
When your child has been injured in a car accident or other Indiana child injury accident, look no further than the caring and dedicated legal team at Rowe & Hamilton Attorneys at Law for assistance. We will help protect your legal rights so you can focus your attention on your child. Contact us today at (317) 482-7888 to discuss your child injury issues and concerns.