Preventing Child Fatalities in Motor Vehicle Collisions

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently launched a new tool designed to help parents learn when a car seat has been recalled. The goal is to increase child passenger safety and reduce the number of children who are killed in motor vehicle accidents. West Palm Beach personal injury lawyers serving Palm Beach County, Miami-Dade County and Broward County know a car seat can be the best line of defense in saving a child’s life if an accident happens. However, the car seat must be in good working order, installed properly and free of defects if it is to have the desired safety impact for a young child. 

Car Seat Safety Advice for Parents

In announcing its new initiative, the NHTSA shared the disturbing data that a child aged 13 and under is involved in a motor vehicle collision every 34 seconds within the United States. Whether a child is properly secured in the vehicle or not makes a profound difference in whether he or she is likely to survive the incident. In fact, more than a third of kids who were killed in motor vehicle accidents either had no seat belt on or were not properly secured in a car seat.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also stress the importance of both car seats and booster seats. According to the CDC:

  • Using a car seat can reduce the risk of death by 71 percent for an infant aged one and under.
  • Using a car seat or a booster seat can reduce the risk of death by 54 percent for children between the ages of one and four.
  • Using a booster seat can reduce the risk of death by 45 percent for children between the ages of four and eight.

Unfortunately, even parents who try to use car seats may not be getting the safety benefits that they expect. This is because sometimes parents use the wrong car seat or because the vehicle car seat that they choose is defective.

Just in 2014, for example, the NHTSA pushed to have more than 7.4 million car seats recalled as a result of a defective buckle. Unfortunately, even with so many car seats recalled, only 40 percent of parents who had purchased the potentially defective car seat were able to get repairs made. When a recall occurs on a light vehicle, by contrast, a full 75 percent of drivers get the necessary repairs done. This is because light vehicles must be registered by law while there is no requirement for car seats to be registered. Manufacturers cannot track people down and parents don’t hear about recalls, so car seats do not get fixed.

The NHTSA’s new initiative hopes to change that. The NHTSA has launched a Parental Central site and encourages parents to register their car seats. This way, the manufacturer can get ahold of them as soon as a recall happens.

The new tool ads to existing resources the NHTSA provides for parents to help encourage child safety. For example, the NHTSA also has a Car Seat Finder where parents can input their child’s age and weight and find the right car seat or booster seat for their specific needs.

Accident lawyers in West Palm Beach can help injury victims. Call Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. today at 800-608-2965 or visit to schedule a free consultation.

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