According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the deaths of 4 out of every 10 children under the age of 6 who die or are seriously injured in auto accidents can be attributed to being unrestrained or improperly restrained. When car seats are properly used and installed, however, they are 71% effective in preventing injury among infants and 54% effective with children ages 1-4.
The most common problems with the use and installation of child car seats, according to the NHTSA, include:
- using the wrong child safety seats for a child’s size and age;
- failing to place the child safety seat in the correct direction;
- incorrect installation of the child safety seat in relation to the vehicle’s air bags;
- incorrect installation and tightness of the child safety seat to the vehicle seat;
- not securing/tightening the child safety seat’s harness and crotch straps;
- improper use of locking clips for certain vehicle safety belts;
- not making sure the vehicle’s seat belts fit properly across the child when using a booster seat; and
- using a defective or broken child safety seat.
Texas law requires that any child passenger younger than 8 (unless they are taller than 4 feet 9 inches) must be buckled up in a child safety seat according to the instructions of the seat’s manufacturer.
On its website, the NHTSA has useful information and instructional videos to help parents properly install child safety seats. Additionally, the Texas Department of Transportation has great information about how to select the right seat for your child, and offers free safety seat check-ups in each of its 25 district offices throughout Texas. You can schedule a safety check at the Dallas office by calling (214) 320-6220 or (214) 320-6235.
At Greening Law, P.C., we provide aggressive, compassionate and experienced representation for car accident victims in Dallas and throughout Texas. Please give us a call at (972) 934-8900 or fill out our online form to arrange for your free initial consultation.