February 24, 2012 by admin
The force of a serious car accident can put a great deal stress on the body. Without the proper restraint, drivers and passengers could suffer very serious injuries in the event of a crash. Since cars have made seat belts and air bags standard, auto accident-related injuries and fatalities have declined significantly. However, air bags and seat belts are only designed to protect adult-sized drivers and passengers. In order to have suitable protection, children must have proper car seats, booster seats and other restraints according to their size.
To maximize your child’s safety, make sure to choose the right car seat for your child’s age, weight and height. Here are some quick guidelines to keep in mind:
- Newborn-1 year: For infants, choose a rear-facing car seat.
- 1-3 years: Continue using a rear-facing car seat until your child reaches the maximum height and/or weight allowed by the manufacturer, and then switch to a forward-facing car seat with a harness.
- 4-7 years: Use a forward-facing car seat with a harness until your child outgrows it. Then, switch to a booster seat.
- 8-12 years: Use a booster seat until your child can fit a seat belt properly. With a proper-fitting seat belt, the lap belt will fit snugly against the upper thighs and the shoulder belt will fit snugly against the shoulder and chest.
In addition to using children under the age of 13 should always ride in the backseat. Riding facing forward in the front seat significantly raise you child’s risk of going through the windshield in a high-speed crash.
In Arizona, children under the age of five are required to ride in a car seat with a restraint. Drivers who violate this law face up to a $50 fine. However, this can be waived if the driver subsequently purchases proper restraint. Arizona is one of only three U.S. states without a booster seat requirement. However, the Arizona legislature is currently considering a bill that would require children between the ages of five and eight who are shorter than 4’9″ to use a booster seat. If passed, this could help lower the number of children injured in auto accidents every year.
The auto accident attorneys of Skousen, Gulbrandsen & Patience are here to help with all your personal injury legal needs. Please contact us for a free legal consultation.
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