Roadway safety for children is a top concern for most parents in Southwest Florida and across the nation. Unfortunately, car crashes are the number one cause of death for children ages one to 13 years old. Parents can be proactive about keeping their children safe though. Using size and age appropriate car seats and booster seats for every ride is a great start. Parents should also make sure that caregivers and babysitters are properly restraining children for every trip, no matter how short.
Just the Facts
- In 2011, more than one third of all children killed in wrecks were not in car seats or wearing safety belts.
- Car seats reduce the risk of infants being killed in car crashes by 71 percent.
- Car seats reduce the risk of toddlers being killed in wrecks by 54 percent.
- Between 2007 and 2011, 3,661 children were killed in wrecks.
- During that same time period, an estimated 634,000 kids were injured in crashes.
- On average in 2011, nearly two children under the age of 13 were killed and 388 were injured in traffic crashes every day.
Caregivers and Babysitters
When it comes to vehicle safety, child caregivers and babysitters need to be on the same page as parents. Don’t just assume that a babysitter knows what seat a child belongs in. If anybody is driving your children to school or to afterschool activities and appointments, make sure they know how to properly install the appropriate car seat or booster seat. Car seats only work when they’re being properly used for every trip.
Choosing the Right Seat
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recommendations for age and size-appropriate car seats to keep children as safe as possible in the event of a crash. It’s important to choose a car seat that fits your child’s current size and age. Also, make sure that the seat will fit into your automobile properly. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions before installing it. Finally, use the car seat every time. When your child outgrows a particular car seat, look into the next age and size-appropriate system, which may be a larger car seat or booster seat. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles offers parents and caregivers great information about properly using car seats, booster seats and seatbelts for children and expecting mothers.
Legal Disclaimer: The above guidelines are educational in nature and do not create an attorney/client relationship. It is highly recommended that all Florida accident victims contact an experienced local Florida personal injury attorney to assist them with specific facts and circumstances regarding their motor vehicle accident. If you have been the victim of a motor vehicle accident in Florida, then feel free to contact Attorney Weldon toll free at (877) 730-5180 or via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard L. Weldon, II is an experienced Florida personal injury attorney who has obtained the AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbell. He is the managing attorney of Weldon & Rothman, PL – a Southwest Florida law firm with offices in Naples, Fort Myers, and Sarasota.