It’s vacation time, and with children likely traveling more in vehicles than during the school year, it’s more important to make sure they’re properly restrained. Here’s why: In 2011, 4,953 passenger vehicle occupants age 14 and younger were involved in fatal crashes. For these children fatally injured, 41 percent were unrestrained. See all of the statistics here.
Research has shown that lap/shoulder seat belts, when used, reduce the risk of fatal injury to front seat occupants (age 5 and older) of passenger cars by 45 percent and the risk of moderate-to-critical injury by 50 percent. For light-truck occupants, seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 60 percent and the risk of moderate-to-critical injury by 65 percent.
The NHSTA provides Summer Tips to help you protect your children from injury this summer when you are driving:
- — Choose a car seat based on the child passenger’s age and size, and ensure that the seat fits the vehicle.
- — Follow specific car seat manufacturer’s instructions and the vehicle owner’s manual on how to install the car seat using the seat belt or LATCH system, and check height and weight limits.
- –As long as the child fits within the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements, keep the child in the seat as long as possible.
- –Keep the child in the back seat at least through age 12.
Florida drivers should also educate themselves on safety issues associated with specific car seats and follow these and the other guidelines published by the NHTSA and other child safety organizations.
The accident attorneys at Edward & Ragatz, P.A. encourage all Florida drivers with young children to register their car seats and sign up for email recall notifications on the NHTSA website.