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Protecting the Ones You Love in the Event of a Car Accident

How you can ensure that your little one is safe if you're involved in a car accident on Tennessee roads, or anywhere for that matter...

Being involved in an accident is a terrible event in of itself; however, a car accident is made even worse if a child is involved and injured. The leading cause of child death is unintentional injury and one of the main (and highest) causes is auto accidents. In order to ensure that your child is not harmed in the event of an accident, you need to make sure that your child is secured in a correctly installed child safety seat.

As your children age, it is also important that they understand the proper way to ride in a car to keep them safe as well.

Importance of Child Safety Seats

Car seats can offer the most protection to your child(-ren) while in a car. Every state requires that children be in restrained in in child safety seats. Most people know and understand the importance of restraining infants in car seats, but toddlers are often overlooked. In addition, many car seats are installed improperly or are used incorrectly.

Choosing the Right Car Seat

When you choose a car seat for your child, you need to make sure to follow these suggestions on how to select and install your car seat correctly. One tip to remember: a high price tag does not always constitute safe or best, so you should do your homework first. The best car seat for your child is one that meets your need for a child's weight and your vehicle; as well as, your child's size and age.

After choosing the best seat for your child, you need to make sure you check out that it will work. This is because store displays could show incorrect usage. Moreover, it is important for you to learn how to install a car seat correctly. According to DMV.org, "7 out of 10" car seats are incorrectly installed, which means many children are at risk of death or injury everyday even though their parents believe they're safe.

What to Know about Car Seats

  • A specific car seat may not work in all cars
    • Do research to ensure that the car seat you purchase will fit in your car(s)

  • Have someone inspect your installation
    • You can visit the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) for a certified inspector in your area.

  • Rear-facing car seats are required until a child is a year old
    • Studies are now saying that you should leave your child rear-facing until they are 2 years old or are within the upper weight limit set by their seat's manufacturer.

  • Regardless of whether your child is in a rear-or forward-facing seat, car seats should always be placed in the backseat of your car

  • After installing the car seat (this goes for both rear- and forward-facing), no part of it should only be able to move an inch or less. If it can move more, you need to tighten the seatbelt straps and/or tethers

  • With all types of child safety seats (rear- and forward-facing and booster seats), you should periodically check that all of your tethers and belts are in their correct positions.

Kids and Air Bags

While there is no doubt that air bags have saved numerous lives since their invention, they were built with adults in mind. The force at which air bags deploy can easily injure and/or kill small children if they are sitting in the front seat upon deployment. For this reason, any child under the age of 13 should ride in the backseat. Under extreme circumstances where you have to place your child in a two-seater car, make sure the seat is all the way back and you turn off the passenger side airbag.

Even when properly installed, children in car seats and booster seats could still be injured depending on the severity of the accident. However, ensuring that you place them in a safety seat can mean the difference between suffering bruises, lacerations and broken bones and being killed.

If you or a loved one have been involved or injured in a car accident, please contact Tennessee attorneys Gilreath & Associates today. We can help you build a case and obtain the compensation you deserve. For more information about keeping yourself safe from car accidents, please visit our blog and Tennessee Personal Injury Guide.

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