Anyone who has a small child--me included--knows the difficulty of selecting the right child safety seat for your car. We parents want to make sure we buy the right one to avoid injuries to our babies in the event of a car accident. The U.S. Department of Transportation has provided some new guidance in our selection.
On January 30th, the Transportation Department announced that it was revamping a consumer rating system for child safety seats. The new system will use a five-star rating system--based on the seat's ability to secure a child and how easy it is to install the seats.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes that 7 out of 10 child safety seats are either the wrong size or misused making injuries after a car accident more likely. When used properly, the right seat is very effectively. The NHTSA estimates that child restrains systems reduce fatal injuries in car accidents by 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers in passenger cars.
The recommendations have stayed the same--car seats for children up to 40 pounds and booster seats for children over 40 pounds until they are 8 years old or 4 feet 9 inches tall. Further, it is recommended that all children ride in the back seat until age 13.
Select your child's seat carefully and drive safely. However, be prepared for those who don't. If you are involved in a car accident, you should talk to an attorney about your legal rights. My firm has been fighting for those injured in Florida car accidents for over 53 years. To contact me to discuss your case, simply click here.