To close out National Child Passenger Safety Week, this Saturday is known as “National Seat Check Saturday.” Too many children are injured and even killed in car accidents because they are in an improper child seat. Organizations around the country have agreed to have certified technicians inspect your child car seat, in most cases, free of charge – and show you how to correctly install and use it. To find a location in your area, simply click here and enter your zip code.
Florida law requires that every operator of a motor vehicle, while transporting a child in a motor vehicle operated on the roadways, streets, or highways of this state, shall, if the child is 5 years of age or younger, provide for protection of the child by properly using a crash-tested, federally approved child restraint device. For children aged through 3 years, such restraint device must be a separate carrier or a vehicle manufacturer’s integrated child seat. For children aged 4 through 5 years, a separate carrier, an integrated child seat, or a seat belt may be used.
The following research indicates the importance of the proper care seat or booster seat:
- During 2009, 5366 passenger vehicle occupants age 4 and younger were involved in fatal crashes. For those children where restraint use was known, 23% were unrestrained; among those who were fatally injured, 46% were unrestrained.
- Research on the effectiveness of child safety seats has found them to reduce fatal injury by 71% for infants younger than 1 year of age and by 54% for toddlers ages 1-4. Children ages 2-6 years old in child safety seats (including child restraints and belt positioning booster seats) are approximately 28% less likely to receive a fatal injury than those using safety belts alone.
- When children ride in a rear vehicle seat they reduce their injury risk by 64% for newborns to 8 year olds and 31% for 9-12 year olds. It appears to be a norm now that young children ride in vehicle back seats as observation studies from 2008 found that 99% of infants and 92% of children 1-3 and 89% of children 4-7 ride in back seats.
So, take steps to protect your child in the event of a car accident. Believe me, it tears me and my staff up when we represent parents of kids who are injured or killed in car accidents.
Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes has been representing those injured in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents and other personal matter matters for nearly 20 years. His Clearwater personal injury law firm – Perenich Caulfield Avril & Noyes – has been helping Tampa Bay residents since 1955. Click here for a free case consultation or call 727-796-8282.