According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about three out of every four car seats are installed incorrectly. Although the numbers are decreasing, too many deaths in car crashes still involve children in car seats. Even kids who are strapped in could still be at risk.
An article in the New York Times states that deaths of children in car seats declined to 397 in 2011—down from 614 in 2002—but auto safety experts say those numbers could be much lower. With simpler car seats and better instructions on how to strap them in to vehicles, ensuring a child’s safety would be much easier.
Regulators have been pushing to simplify the process of installing car seats for years. For example, in 2000, the traffic safety agency added a latch system that would allow car seats to be anchored to the vehicle’s seats instead of just secured with a seatbelt. But experts say that many parents still use only seatbelts to secure car seats. Using a seatbelt allows the car seat to move farther forward during a collision, increasing the chance of injury to the child.
Confusion during car seat installment most often arises when putting different car seats in various models of cars. A program that encourages car manufacturers to recommend the best-fitting child seat for use in each of their vehicle models is being pushed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Unfortunately, collaboration between automakers and car seat manufacturers has been resisted.
Automakers have tried to design vehicles that can accommodate a variety of car seats and say that the differences in car seat models make the situation more complicated. Learning how to properly install a child’s car seat is impossible with the ever-changing varieties of vehicles and car seat models: nothing is the same from year to year.
Parents should seek help from a car seat specialist to choose the best car seat for their car model. Local fire and police departments can also assist in the inspection of children’s car seats to make sure they are properly secured.
We encourage you to take the necessary steps to ensure your child’s safety in the event of an accident.
If a car accident does happen and you or your child are hurt, getting in touch with an experienced car accident attorney in Fairbanks as soon as possible will get you the help you need.