In spite of the fact that more parents are restraining their children in safety seats and booster seats than ever before, federal administration officials believe that there are far too many children being killed because they are not adequately or appropriately restrained in the right types of safety devices. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, accident fatalities involving children below the age of 12 dropped a staggering 43% between 2002 and 2011. Los Angeles car accident lawyers do not believe it is a coincidence that safety seat usage rates by parents skyrocketed to all-time highs during this decade.
However, new figures also released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that during that same period of time, there were more than 9,000 child fatalities in accidents. Many of those fatalities occurred because the children were not properly restrained in car seats and seat belts. According to the CDC, as many as one-third of child car accident fatalities in 2011 were not properly buckled in at the time of the accident.
Clearly, the fact that seatbelt usage rates are increasing each year is not enough. Where children are concerned, parents and transportation safety officials should not be satisfied with a usage rate of less than 100%. That’s because children are some of the most vulnerable victims of car accidents, and maybe at a much higher risk of suffering serious or fatal injuries. Because of their physical vulnerability, it is important that children be appropriately restrained in car safety seats, booster seats and when the child has reached an appropriate age and weight, seatbelts.
One of the major mistakes parents make is to move their child far too early to a forward-facing car seat, booster seat or seatbelt. Car safety restraints need to be appropriate to the child’s age and weight, and rushing the child too quickly to the next level of restraint system can actually be dangerous.