Protecting Child Passengers in Side-Impact Accidents

Child car seats could soon be regulated to make sure that they protect your young passengers in the event of a side-impact accident, based on recommendations from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (NHTSA) According to the Los Angeles Times, NHTSA officials are proposing a new, tougher set of regulations to make sure that car seats for children weight up to 40 pounds now include accurate “t-bone” testing.

This new test would be a first of its kind, and could potentially save lives and protect about 100 child passengers from serious injury each year, according to government estimates.

Our car accident attorneys in Montgomery note traffic collisions continue to be the leading cause of death for children. With tougher standards, we can help prevent tragedies. Car seats continue to play a vital role in helping to protect these young passengers. Not only is it important that parents and guardians are using the right car seat correctly, but it’s critical that manufacturers are doing whatever possible to ensure that these seats continue to evolve with technology.

The new test will simulate a “t-bone” accident. One vehicle, traveling at 30 miles per hour, would slam into the side of another small passenger vehicle, traveling at 15 miles per hour, as this is the most common side-impact accident we see on U.S. roadways. As a matter of fact, these kinds of collisions account for about 90 percent of the side-impact incidents we see on U.S. roadways. They usually happen at intersections, stop signs or red lights.

Aside from testing these accidents with the traditional 12-month-old child dummy, officials are proposing that a new 3-year-old child dummy be used as well.

“As a father of two, I know the peace of mind this proposed test will give parents,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

Unfortunately, three out of four child seats are used incorrectly, and many parents aren’t aware of the restraint steps a child should progress through as they age and grow. A vehicle is the most dangerous place for children– and crashes are the leading killer of children under age 14.

The safest place for your child’s car seat is the back seat, away from active air bags. If the car seat is placed in the front seat and the air bag inflates, it could hit the back of a rear-facing car seat — right where your child’s head is — and cause a serious or fatal injury.

To keep kids as safe as possible on the road, choose the seat that’s best suited to their age, height, and weight. Steer clear of used or secondhand seats, which can be unsafe. And look for a car seat that will let your child stay rear-facing as long as possible.

If you’re not confident of how to properly secure your child in a safety seat, you can visit one of the NHTSA’s Child Car Seat Inspection locations.

If your child has suffered an injury, contact Allred & Allred P.C. for experienced advice about your rights. Call for a free consultation at 334.396.9200.

More Blog Entries:

Injury Attorneys Urge Participation in Passenger Safety Week, Alabama Injury Lawyer Blog, September 24, 2013

Montgomery Traffic Safety – Safe Walk to School, Alabama Injury Lawyer Blog, September 10, 2013

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