Every year, 179,000 children are injured in an auto accident in the United States, from Salt Lake City to the East Coast. Car seats are an important addition to any family vehicle; these seats help to ensure your child’s safety, so installing them shouldn’t be taken lightly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, infant passenger deaths are cut by 71 percent and toddler deaths by 54 percent thanks to car seats⎯ however, for these seats to be effective, they need to be installed properly.
An attorney may see several cases of an auto accident injury including a child due to an improperly installed car seat. Here are the steps that you should take to ensure your child’s car seat is installed properly.
Reading and Consulting the Car Seat Manual
Before you begin to do anything, always read the manual that comes with your child’s car seat. This manual contains all the information you need to know about the car seat and will even give you instructions on how to make sure that it is properly installed for maximum safety. It may be instinct to just discard the manual and figure it out yourself, but remember that it is not worth the risk.
Even if you follow the instructions, sometimes malfunctions and defects can cause injury. If your child has been injured due to a defective car seat, contact a lawyer at Robert J. DeBry and Associates for a free consultation.
Deciding Where to Place Your Seat
There are three places where you can place your seat: on the left side of the backseats, on the right side and in the middle. The placement will decide on your car. If the middle of your seats is raised, curved or in any way unsuitable for a car seat, you’ll have to install your car seat on the sides.
Lock the Seatbelt
Some modern seats may come with lower anchors that can be put into the seatbelt latch. If your child’s seat doesn’t come with lower anchors, consult your manual on how to use the seatbelt to secure your seat.
Secure Your Seat
Once you’ve latched your child’s car seat, make sure you tighten it. The seat should not wiggle more than one inch in any direction.
Adjust the Recline Angle
It’s important for the base of the child’s car seat to be level with your seats to prevent your child from jerking forward when stopping.
Check Your Work
Once you’ve followed all the instructions in your manual, make sure you check your work. Check to make sure that your child’s seat is secure, stable and properly reclined. This will reduce the chances of serious injury in case of an auto accident.
If you or your child have been involved in an auto accident, it is important to hire an attorney. Contact our attorney team here at Robert J. DeBry and Associates. An experienced auto accident lawyer will represent you in your case and help you get the compensation you deserve.