Six Tips to Keep Your Child Safe in the Back of Your Car in Virginia
If you have ever wondered to what extent car seats can safeguard children look no further than recently published figures by the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
In a recent press release the NHTSA states more than a third of children under age 13 who died in passenger vehicle crashes in 2011 were not in car seats or wearing seat belts.
To help reduce these deaths and as part of Child Passenger Safety Week, NHTSA is highlighting the key safety benefits associated with the proper use of car seats, booster seats, and seat belts.
“Safety is our top priority, particularly when it comes to protecting our children – who are our most vulnerable passengers,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, said. “Parents and caregivers can be the first line of defense by ensuring their children are correctly secured in the right seat for their size and age, and by buckling up themselves.”
Unfortunately this is not always the case. My work as a personal injury lawyer in Virginia Beach, means I see many instances in which children are hurt in car crashes. Often their parents have failed to take important safety precautions.
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children in the United States. In 2011, almost two children under the age of 13 were killed and 338 were injured every single day while riding in automobiles and pickups. Of the children killed, the percentage of unrestrained fatalities was greatest in larger vehicles: SUVs (55 percent), pick-ups (43 percent), vans (40 percent), and cars (24 percent).
“Regardless of the size of the vehicle, the age of the child or the length of the trip, children should always be properly restrained in a car seat, booster or seat belt,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. “Car seats, when correctly installed and used, provide proven life-saving and injury-reducing benefits for child passengers.”
NHTSA has offered six key safety tips for parents to safeguard their children.
- Determine if your child is in an age appropriate seat and the correct one for his or her size;
- Always read the instructions and labels with your child’s car seat and carefully read the vehicle owner’s manual for crucial information on installing the seat in your particular vehicle;
- Go to your local car seat inspection station to have your seat checked by a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician. Parents often fit car seat incorrectly.
- Use the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) restraint system or a seat belt to install your car seat and make sure to use the top tether to secure forward-facing car seats;
- Make sure to register your seat and booster seat at SaferCar.gov so you will be informed if there is a safety recall the seat and
- Always wear your seat belt to set a good example to your kids. It’s no coincidence that unbuckled drivers are more likely to have unrestrained children in the car.
Child Passenger Safety Week is September 15 through September 21. Throughout the week, certified inspectors will be on hand at 600 events in 45 states across the country. And certified child passenger safety technicians will inspect car seats and show parents and caregivers how to correctly install and use them. In most cases, this service is free of charge.
If your child is hurt due to the fault of another driver contact a children’s injury lawyer in Virginia Beach for a free consultation.
Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers work to help injured clients who have been hurt in auto, motorcycle and truck accidents across Virginia.
Our motto is: “When It Really Counts, Count on Cooper Hurley.” If you need help or advice about a serious injury, please call us at (757) 455 -0077 or see CooperHurley.com.