The US Department of Transportation is developing a new consumer program that will involve car manufacturers recommending specific child safety seats for each of their cars. Not every child car seat is necessarily the right fit for a specific car—even if the seat is highly rated or reviewed as one of the best or most expensive products in the market. A variety of recommendations will be made to meet different parents’ budgets that can hopefully help them pick the safest seats for their kids.
The US DOT also is ordering the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to develop a new child safety seat standard for side impact safety. 1/3rd of all highway fatalities involving children younger than age 13 occur during side impact auto collisions.
While the current standard requiring child seats to withstand forces stronger than 99.5% of real collisions is good, US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood believes that more can be done to improve child safety during auto accidents. He also noted that in order for a properly working child safety seat to do its job, parents and other adults must make sure that kids use them. According to statistics, 50% of kids under 8 years of age that died in auto accidents were not using child safety seats.
That said, it is the job of child safety seat manufacturers to make sure that their seats are free from defects. Parents and guardians rely on child safety seats to keep their kids and babies safe during auto collisions. While a properly working child safety seat can save lives, a defective seat can prove catastrophic.
Examples of defects that can render a child safety seat ineffective:
• Improper padding on the seat
• Defective seat buckle that can unlock at the wrong time, failing to properly secure the child in the seat
• Defective child seat clip
• Improperly designed harness
• Insufficient or hard to understand installation instructions
There is nothing more devastating for a parent than for his or her child to get hurt. If your son or daughter sustained serious or fatal injuries in a Portland, Oregon car accident that were partially caused by a defective child car seat, you may be entitled to recover Oregon personal injury or wrongful death compensation.
U.S. DOT Announces New Consumer Program for Child Safety Seats, NHTSA, April 24, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Consumer Product Safety Commission
Portland, Oregon Child Injury Attorney Matt Kaplan is available to talk to you during a free case evaluation.