The vast majority of parents in the United States place the health, safety and wellbeing of their children at the very top of their priority lists. They make sure that they are fed a proper diet and that they are properly clothed. They make sure that they interact with their children and help them develop in a cognitive sense, and they make sure that they do not allow their children to put themselves in positions where they encounter risks of harm. Unfortunately, even the best intentions do not always provide the utmost in protection. Sadly, too many parents are not taking proper care of their children while they are in their vehicles, even if they think they are doing so. This week is National Child Passenger Safety Week, and it’s as good a time as any for parents to make sure that their child’s car seat or booster seat is installed properly and that they are taking proper steps to strap their children in so that they can avoid an unnecessary risk of injury or worse if something goes wrong. In furtherance of this week, several news outlets around the country are publishing troubling statistics regarding child safety seats in vehicles. Some of those extremely troubling statistics include:
- 90 percent of all child car seats are not installed correctly.
- 20 percent of parents do not always buckle their children into the car seat.
- More than 60 percent of crashes involving children occur within 10 minutes of home.
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One of the reasons that parents give for not always taking the extra few seconds to buckle their children into their car seats is because they are only going on a short drive. The last statistic mentioned above should answer that forcefully, and it makes sense, as most children do not regularly embark on long rides in a car. Once again, it should be noted that other than failing to buckle a child into a car seat, most parents likely assume that their child seats are properly installed even when they are not. If parents are unable to move the seats much after strapping them to the vehicle’s anchors, they may think that everything is ready to go. Parents should not simply make this assumption and instead should take some time to either research the proper installation of their car seat or have someone else look at it. Many new parents will drive to a fire station to ask someone there to take a look at their car seats, and most fire departments will gladly assist in this effort. If you are unsure of whether or not your car seat is installed properly, call your nearest fire station on the non-emergency line and ask them to provide you with a few minutes to do this for you. We have been representing people as Las Vegas accident lawyers for 30 years, and we have seen too many children suffer needlessly because of this mistake. The team at Bernstein & Poisson hopes that you take some time this week to make sure that your child is safe in your vehicle.