Over the past decade, safety and engineering improvements in cars have resulted in a smaller percentage of car accident-related injuries. The use of seat belts and approved child seats is proven to save lives. In 2009, an estimated 309 lives were saved by the use of child restraints and 12,713 with seat belts.1
As a driver in Alabama, it is your responsibility to ensure your passengers are as safe as possible in your vehicle. You should maintain your vehicle in sound working order. You should insist on the use of seat belts by all passengers. Children should be secured in age and size-appropriate child restraints that have been correctly installed in your vehicle. Most police departments are happy to check your car seat and make sure it is properly installed. There are also online videos, such as this one from parenting.com that will guide parents and care-givers in the correct installation process.
As children grow, the type of restraint used will change. And teens should be taught to always wear their seatbelt and how to adjust it for maximum benefit. This website has some great information and videos on keeping kids safe during crashes.
Special note about car seats: If a child restraint has been in a car accident, it should be replaced. Damage from the accident is not always visible, and the car seat may not offer the appropriate level of protection. In addition, recalls of child restraints have happened all too frequently in the past few years. Martinson & Beason recommends that you periodically check the Consumer Product Safety Commission website to make sure the make and model you purchased has not been recalled by the manufacturer.
It has been well documented that air bags also save lives. It is important to note, however, that children under age 13 should not ride in the front seat. Airbags were not designed to protect children and may cause significant damage. Read your car owner’s manual for specific advice. Car seats should never be placed in the front seat.
You can find helpful downloads about what to do if you are in a car accident here:
What to Do If You Are In a Car Accident: Step-By-Step Guide
Accident Information Sheet for your Glove Box
Child Safety | 2011 Car Seat Recommendations
Our Alabama car accident lawyers handle all automobile accident cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not charge you a fee until and unless we make a recovery for you.
If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury contact our experienced and dedicated Huntsville Alabama car accident attorneys. The evaluation is free and confidential. Click here to find out the questions you should ask before hiring an attorney from our Special Report.
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