Child Passenger Safety: Minimizing Injuries in Accidents

Posted on behalf of Henness & Haight on Dec 12, 2014 in Personal Injury News

We must all take steps to ensure the safety of our children when they ride in the car with us. While no one wants to be in a car crash, they can happen out of the blue. Children are particularly susceptible to injuries resulting from car crashes. In fact, auto collisions are the leading cause of death in children between the ages of two and 14. A grisly statistic, but one that emphasizes the dire need for precautions when driving with children.

Always take measures to buckle up your most precious cargo. Risk Factors Restraints are designed to reduce the likelihood of injury, but they cannot guarantee to prevent injuries entirely. No collision is alike, so there are many variables at play.  Many times parents do not strictly observe seat belt safety and this can lead to injury or death. Sometimes a restraint can fail which can lead to you requiring the services of a qualified Las Vegas product liability lawyer.

On short trips, or when they have their minds on something else, they can neglect to ensure that their child is buckled in properly. Some parents set a poor example. Statistics show that in a vehicle where the driver was not using a seatbelt, their child was 40 percent more likely to not have a proper restraint, either. Even when using child restraints, many parents were doing so improperly. Always read the instructions carefully, and follow the age-appropriate guidelines. Here are the recommendations per the CDC: Newborns to Two-year-olds During infancy, a child should always be secured in a rear-facing car seat. The reason for rear-facing is twofold. First, a very young child has a completely different body composition from older children and adults. Most of their bones have not completely formed, especially the spine. Gaps in vertebrae are connected by cartilage, making them very sensitive to sudden changes in velocity. Second, a rear-facing configuration lessens the force of impact from front and side collisions. Front impacts make up roughly 60 percent of all crashes, and side impacts consist of 20 percent. When something collides from these directions, the shift in inertia is mostly transferred to the shell of the rear-facing seat. Ages Two to Five or More Once a child has reached a certain height, their legs will no longer allow a rear-facing configuration.

At this point, arrange the car seat to be front-facing. The child should use this seat until at least the age of five. They can wait longer to transition if they have not yet outgrown it. Keep in mind that many seats have weight limits when you are determining the proper seat for your child. Age Five and Beyond After outgrowing the front-facing seat, your child will be able to use most vehicles' seat belts with the aid of a booster seat. Ensure that the belt fits properly. It should fall upon their lap and across their shoulder. A seat belt can cause serious injury in the event of a collision if it is not in the right position. Continue using the booster seat until the child comfortably fits in the seat belt with the proper positions just mentioned. 57 inches is the recommended height for making the transition. Wait as long as you need to in order to help ensure the safety of your child. No matter how hard we try, collisions can still occur. If your family has been injured or killed due to a collision and your restraints failed you should call a personal injury attorney in Las Vegas or near you today to discuss your legal options.