The week of September 15-21 is being recognized as Child Passenger Safety Week to bring awareness to the urgency of children’s safety in passenger vehicles. To call attention to the issue at hand, the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Ad Council have launched a series of public service ads that advertise the importance of protecting a child’s future at every stage of life, including in vehicles. Regrettably, car crashes are the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 1 to 13. However, many of these car crashes are due to a lack of proper restraint or incorrect car seat installation. The central goal of Child Passenger Safety Week is to ensure that all parents and caregivers are providing their child with the right type of restraint in a vehicle according to their age, height, and weight, as well as installing their child’s car seat or booster seat correctly.
Throughout the week, many communities across the country will have certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians available to provide free instruction on the proper use of car seats, booster seats and seat belts for children. The technicians will also be capable of educating parents on how to choose the right car seat and how to correctly install it and use it each time their child is in the vehicle. In addition, they will be discussing the importance of registering the car seat shortly after its purchase to be notified of any recalls and what to do should your child’s car seat or booster seat be recalled.
Most parents are confident that they have correctly installed their child’s car seat, but in most cases, they have not, which can lead to injury or death should a car accident occur. In passenger vehicles, it has been proven that car seats can reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers. To help alleviate the amount of injuries children suffer in car crashes, all 50 states in the country have passed laws that require children to be secured in the appropriate car seat or booster seat for their various ages and sizes. In the state of Illinois, the Illinois Child Passenger Protection Act requires that all children under the age of eight be properly secured in an appropriate child safety restraint system, which includes the use of booster seats with a lap safety belt. Additionally, on January 1, 2019, the Illinois Child Passenger Protection Act was amended to include the requirement that children under the age of two must be secured in a rear-facing car seat unless the child weighs over 40 pounds or is more than 40 inches tall. Furthermore, a few child passenger safety tips include:
- Keep children in rear-facing car seats for as long as possible.
- Have children sit in the back seat up until the age of 13.
- A used car seat or booster seat may not be safe unless you know the full history of the restraint system and all instructions/parts to it are present.
- Register your child’s car seat or booster seat with the manufacturer.
- Do not use a car seat or booster seat that is over six years old or past its expiration date.
- Stowaway or tie-down all objects within a vehicle.
It is important to remember these child passenger safety tips and advertisements that can help reduce the risk of children’s injuries or fatalities in vehicular crashes. Being informed on the proper use of car seats for your child and learning how to correctly install it can only help to prevent the risk of injury to your child. However, even when you are being cautious and taking all the necessary safety measures, there is still a risk of injury. If your child has been involved in a passenger vehicle crash and suffered an injury, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Spiros Law, P.C. today at (217) 328-2828 to speak with one of our experienced attorneys and receive a free consultation.