Children are particularly vulnerable if they’re involved in a car accident, and most parents know the importance of using a child passenger restraint system to help protect their children in the event an accident does happen. The question parents should ask themselves, however, is whether they are using the right passenger restraint system for their child.
The statistics can be frightening: in 2011, more than 148,000 children were injured in motor vehicle accidents, and 650 children under the age of 13 died in car crashes. Thirty-three percent of these child fatalities were not buckled up at the time of the crash.
Additionally, child restraint systems are often used improperly, with one study finding that nearly 72% of the child restraint systems examined was used in a way that could actually increase the risk of injury to the child in the event of a motor vehicle accident.
The right restraint system depends on the size and age of your child. Under California law, the following child restraint systems are required, depending your child’s size and age:
• Children under the age of eight must be properly secured in either a car seat or a booster seat located in the back seat. However, a child under the age of eight who is 4’9” or taller may be secured in the back seat using a safety belt.
• Children aged eight or older must be secured in the back seat in either an appropriate child passenger restraint system or with a safety belt.
Parents of younger children and infants may also want to consider the CDC’s advice to use a rear-facing car seat for children from birth until age two, a forward-facing car seat from age two to five, and a booster seat for children age five and up to the age when a seat belt can be used properly. Proper seat belt use requires that a child be 57 inches tall. A seat belt fits properly when the lap belt lays over the upper thighs rather than the stomach of the child and the shoulder belt lays across the chest rather than the neck.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a Los Angeles automobile accident, Bradley I. Kramer and his experienced legal team are here to help you obtain the compensation to which you are entitled. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.