Car Seat Failures

Experts agree that keeping your baby in a properly-sized seat is essential for safety and out of arm’s way for car seat injuries such as ejection, striking the seat in front, struck by an airbag, and/or having a belt or chest guard cause neck injury. As a lawyer, I have personally seen situations where a baby survived catastophic collisions because the car seat was doing its job.

Unfortunately, not all car seats are created equal.You can do everything right but the car seat manufacturer could be liable for car seat injuries caused by unsafe and faulty car seat products. Do you need a car seat lawyer to file a car seat lawsuit?

Many Times, Car Seat Recall Can Be Too Late

Baby car seats and child car seats (booster seats) can fail, be defective, be recalled, or simply break just when you need these car seats the most – during an accident. Responsible parents just like you provide the best car seats for your baby or child because you trust the car seat brands that advertise safety and reliability. Still, bad things can happen to car seats.

“I want to sit in the front seat.” Even though this is a constant whine from the kids, don’t let their pleas sway your position on safety. A study by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) showed that children under 13 are up to 36 percent less likely to die if they are seated in the rear seat. Unfortunately, an estimated one-third of children still ride improperly restrained in the front seat. Since the most common type of crash is frontal, the rear seat is the safest place for children to ride and less likely to be struck by an airbag (or killed by an airbag) or ejection through the front window. Front airbags don’t protect children.

Struck by an airbag
All new cars have air bags. When used with seat belts, air bags work very well to protect older children and adults. Air bags can be very dangerous to children riding in rear-facing car safety seats and to child passengers who are not properly positioned. If your car has a passenger air bag, infants in rear-facing seats must ride in the back seat. Even in a low speed crash, the air bag can inflate, strike the car safety seat, and cause serious brain and neck injury and death.

Toddlers who ride in forward-facing car safety seats also are at risk from being struck by an airbag or air bag injuries. All children up to 13 years old are safest in the back seat. If you must put an older child in the front seat, slide the vehicle seat back as far as it will go. Make sure your child is properly restrained for her age and size and stays in the proper position at all times. This will help prevent the child from being struck by airbag.

According to NHTSA, most injuries sustained in accidents involving car seats stem from improper use and installation. Parents should follow weight guidelines, even if it means buying three different car seats as your child grows. If your infant is under 1 year old, but has exceeded the maximum rear-facing infant seat weight of 20 to 22 pounds, a convertible car seat should be used.

A study showed that children under 13 are up to 36-percent less likely to die if they are seated in the rear seat. Despite this, an estimated one-third or more of children ride improperly in the front seat. Front airbags don't protect children because they were designed for adults. According to the National Safe Kids Campaign, 141 children have been killed by passenger airbags as of January 1, 2004. The federal government now requires auto manufacturers to begin phasing in advanced or third-generation airbags that deactivate if the front passenger is too light. But this is intended more to protect smaller adults.



Links to Keep Your Child Safe

Bookmark this page as it’s a good starting point for car seat safety research:

2006 Car Seat Ratings for Ease of Use
The National Highway Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA) ratings strive to prompt child restraint system (CRS) manufacturers to improve their car seat products and make them easier for consumers to use. The car seat ratings educate parents and caregivers about child safety seat features and assist them in finding the appropriate child safety seat. More>>

Car Seats and Car Makes Compatibility
Matchmaker, matchmaker make me a match, find me a car seat that is compatible with my SUV, Toyota Prius, Honda Element, Saturn minivan, SAAB, etc. Car Seat Data is guide but not necessarily a definitive guide but definitely a starting point for your quest for the perfect car seat that is compatible with your car and baby/child. More>>

Keep Kids Safe
Safe Kids Worldwide is a global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury, a leading killer of children 14 and under; with an emphasis on motor vehicle safety and car seats and booster seats. More>>

Car Seat Manufacturer and Distributor
Parental guide to car seats and booster seats as well as where to buy various brands (Cosco, Eddie Bauer, Disney, Safety 1st and models), FAQ, and numerous child safety tips. More>>

Car Seat Overview
Choosing a car seat can still be a confounding experience. People still complain about how difficult it is to ensure that they buy a car seat that fits their vehicle. The owner's manual may say one thing, but the car seat instructions may say another. More>>

Car Seats & American Academy of Pediatrics
Buckle up for safety for babies and children is not as simple as it sounds. AAP has a comprehensive web page devoted to your child’s safety with car seats and booster seats. More>>

Car Seat Inspection Locator
Find a car seat inspection location near you. Daimler Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep dealerships sponsor a free program. Bring your car to a participating dealer for a free inspection. You don't have to own a Chrysler car to take advantage of the program. More>>