While most vehicles come equipped with safety features designed to save
lives, children riding in vehicles must be secured in an approved car
seat. The right car seat, correctly installed in your vehicle, provides
important protection for small children should you be involved in a
Detroit car accident.
We have put together this basic car seat safety guide to help parents gain
a better understanding about both booster and car seats. These are important
pieces of equipment, and our goal is to help parents keep their babies
and children as safe as possible while on the roads and streets in the
Detroit metro area.
Car Accident Statistics
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 638
children under the age of 13 were killed, and another 127,250 injured
in motor vehicle accidents during 2013. Of those children who lost their
lives, more than a third were not buckled in at the time of the crash.
In fact, a CDC study indicated that during the course of 1 year, more
than 618,000 children between the ages of 0-12 rode in a motor vehicle
without a car seat, booster seat, or seatbelt.
Because car seats have been shown to reduce the risk of infant death by
approximately 71%, and toddler fatalities by 54%, it’s critically
important to keep your child safely secured in a government-approved car
seat. Booster seats significantly improve a child’s chances of avoiding
serious injury should you be involved in a collision. When a child between
4 and 8 years of age is secured in a booster seat, it reduces the risk
of serious injury by about 45%.
What Type of Car Seat Should Your Child Be Using?
One of the most common questions parents ask is what type of car seat offers
the best protection. Michigan car seat laws require children under the
age of 4 to ride in a car seat in the back seat of a vehicle. If a child
is in a rear-facing car seat, it must be placed in the front seat of a
vehicle and the passenger side airbag must be deactivated. Until a child
is 8 years old or 4’9″, he or she is required by law to be
safely secured in either a car seat or booster seat.
This breakdown helps make it clear:
Rear-facing car seat: From birth to 12 months of age, a child should be riding in a rear-facing
car seat. Babies may outgrow an infant car seat within 12 months. Children
can – and should – remain in rear-facing car seats for as
long as possible, up to the age of 3.
Front-facing car seat: Between 1 to 3 years of age, a child can ride in a front-facing car seat
as long as he or she has exceeded the height or weight requirements for
a rear-facing car seat. A convertible model seat can change from a rear-facing
seat to a forward-facing one. Children should remain in a front-facing
car seat until they are 7 years old or until they have reached the maximum
height or weight limits of the specific car seat.
Booster seat: Booster seats are for children up to the age of 12. Many children will
only need a booster seat until they are 7 or 8. However, until a child
fits in a seat belt properly, he or she should be safely buckled into
a booster seat.
Seat belt: Once a child is 8 years old or 4’9″, he or she must be secured
properly with a seatbelt when riding in a vehicle. Put your child in the
back seat of your vehicle—it is safer for children.
A few other car seat safety tips include:
Carefully read the installation instructions for the car seat or booster
seat and follow all instructions to the letter. Look at training videos
if you run into any problems with the installation instructions.
- Use a no-back booster seat for vehicles that have a headrest on the rear
or back seats.
- Always use both a lap and shoulder belt for children using booster seats.
- Refer to height and weight restrictions and car seat guidelines.
- Make sure your child’s car seat or booster seat is not on the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recall list.
Parents who are uncertain as to whether or not their child’s car
seat has been properly installed can use the Parents Central search engine
to find a child car seat inspection station nearest them. Schedule an
appointment and visit a child car seat inspection station to make sure
it is properly installed.
If your child was injured in a car accident caused by another driver,
contact Goodman Acker, P.C., to schedule your free case review with a skilled Detroit auto accident lawyer.