Safety technology has come a long way in the past few years, making automobiles safer than ever. Car seats, booster seats, and seat belts have also become much more effective at protecting parents’ most precious cargo. However, to keep children safe while driving in the car, it is important that parents use the appropriate car seat that is appropriate for the child’s age and weight and that the child is safely restrained throughout the journey. Failure to do so could increase the risk of catastrophic personal injury or death in the event of a major automobile accident.
Understanding the risks associated with this type of unsafe behavior and the specific requirements for the correct child restraint systems will help keep children safe and healthy. Parents whose children have been injured in a car accident are asked to contact an experienced car wreck attorney for assistance.
How common are car wreck deaths among children?
Car wrecks are the leading killer of children in the United States. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an average of five children are fatally injured and another 568 are injured daily in car wrecks in the United States. In 2018 alone, 636 children under the age of 12 died in car wrecks and over 97,000 were injured. Thirty-three percent of the children who died were not properly restrained. Unfortunately, approximately 46 percent of car seats and booster seats are improperly installed or misused in a way that makes them less effective.
What are common causes of child seat injuries?
In addition to not using a seat belt, not using the appropriate car seat for the child’s age and weight, or improperly securing the car seat, other common causes of car seat injuries affect the parent or carer. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children be properly restrained in the appropriate car seat every time they ride in a car. However, parents who found it difficult to get their child into a car seat several times a day were less inclined to follow the AAP’s recommendations.
Other problems were the child’s acting out and uncomfortable conditions. Researchers at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago analyzed information about transport safety behavior and over 20 problems parents mentioned when using car seats. The 238 parents involved in the study represented a range of socio-economic and racial backgrounds that all children had between the ages of one and ten. The researchers found the following results from the study:
Eighty percent of parents said they had a minor problem with one or more of the problems.
The parents said they had a problem with five of the problems.
Parents who did not follow the AAP recommendations reported that the problems were bigger problems.
Half of the parents reported at least one behavior that did not meet AAP recommendations, including allowing their child to travel without a buckle and not consistently use a car seat.
With each additional effort, the likelihood that your child would not consistently use a car seat increased by 14 percent, and the likelihood that their child would be unbridled while traveling increased by 11 percent.
According to a specialist in emergency pediatric medicine at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago and an associate professor of pediatrics at the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine and a lead author on the study, parents must make car safety a priority at all times. Parents are encouraged to plan ahead, give themselves extra time to avoid rushing, and let their children know that driving in a car seat or using a seat belt is a strict rule that cannot be broken.
What Are The Suitable Car Seats For Children As They Grow?
It is extremely important that children are secured in a car seat that is appropriate for their height, weight and age. In addition to the following recommendations for car seats, all children under the age of 13 should sit in the back seat, as airbags in the front seats can cause serious injury or even death to young children.
Birth to Two Years of Age: Children should be securely buckled into a rear-facing car seat until the age of two or until the size or weight limit of the seat is reached.
Ages two to at least five: Children should be securely seated in a front-facing car seat as they outgrow the rear-facing car seat.
Age five until the seat belt is properly seated. Children should be securely restrained in a child seat as they grow out of the forward-facing car seat. The seat belt should be over your thigh, not your stomach. and the shoulder strap should be across your chest, not your neck.
As soon as the child outgrows the child seat: If the child’s height, weight or age exceeds the requirements, they can use a seat belt. The seat belt should fit snugly around your thighs and chest. The recommended height for the correct seat belt fits in at 57 inches high.
How can I protect my child from a car wreck injury?
There are a number of steps parents can take to keep their children safe while driving. Whether the child is actually in a rear-facing car seat or a teenager being restrained in the back seat by a seat belt, the following safety tips can help prevent injuries from car accidents:
Parents should always use the appropriate car seat for the child’s height, weight, and age.
Parents need to ensure that the car seat is properly installed.
If the child is crying, screaming, or distracting, the driver should drive to a safe place. Drivers should not attempt to comfort or comfort the child while driving as this may distract the driver’s attention from the road and increase the risk of a serious distracted car accident.
If there are sharp or dangerous objects in the vehicle, they should be placed in the glove compartment or removed from the vehicle. These can seriously injure the child and other occupants in the vehicle if they blow up in the event of an accident.
Drivers should never drink or drive, especially if they are driving with young children.
Parents and carers shouldn’t drive if they feel drowsy.
What damage is possible if my child is injured in a car accident?
Although the risk of serious injury in a car accident is far lower if the child is properly secured in their car seat, children in a serious car accident can suffer a variety of injuries, including broken bones, whiplash, cuts, and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Depending on the type of accident and the severity of the injuries, the injured victims can claim the following damages:
Medical bills related to the child’s injuries
Occupational therapy and physical therapy are necessary to recover from the injuries
Loss of wages when parents have to stop working to care for their child
The child’s lost future ability to work
Home improvement, which may be necessary to make the home safer for the child
The pain and suffering of the family
Punitive damages aimed at punishing particularly outrageous behavior
Baltimore car wreck attorneys at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton seek compensation for children injured in car wrecks
If your child is seriously injured in a car accident, please contact the Baltimore car wreck attorneys at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We understand how devastating it is to see your child in pain. Our dedicated and compassionate legal team determines who is responsible for causing the car accident and ensures maximum financial compensation for your child’s injuries. We won’t stop fighting for you until you are completely satisfied. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are conveniently located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Prince George’s Counties, where we represent victims across Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel Counties, Carroll County, Harford Counties, Howard Counties, Montgomery Counties, Prince George’s Counties, and Queen Anne’s County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland and Eastern Shore and the parishes of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood and Elkridge.
Visit https://www.lthlaw.com/ for more information.