Car Seats

Are Car Seats Safe After an Accident?

Following a car accident, a driver typically has a lot of questions regarding how the accident will impact the safety and drivability of their vehicle. For parents, an accident can spur additional stress and worries, including whether they need to replace their child’s car seat following an accident. While many would assume that it would depend on the circumstances of the car accident, auto safety experts suggest otherwise.

Severity of Crash

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) not every car accident necessitates a child car seat replacement; however, car seats should be replaced following any moderate to severe accident to ensure they will work properly. While a car seat may look undamaged, if it was involved in a moderate to severe accident previously it could have sustained damages not visible to the naked eye. These mechanisms could be disrupted, causing them to fail in the event of another collision.

Depending on how minor the car accident was, the car seat may be salvageable if it is in the same condition as it was prior to the accident, including meeting all safety standards. A minor accident is one that does not result in any injuries and meets the following criteria:

  • The vehicle involved was able to be safely driven away from the scene of the accident
  • The vehicle door closest to the car seat did not sustain any door damage (crush, dent, or swipe)
  • The vehicle’s airbags did not deploy during the accident
  • The car seat shows no physical signs of damage to the structure or seat

Moderate to severe car accidents result in injuries, significant vehicle property damage that prohibits it from being driven away from the scene, and airbags deploying on impact. It’s important to refer back to the manufacturer instructions that came with your car seat to determine the safest option for replacement, if necessary. Parents can determine the severity of their car accident based on accident reports and physical damage, which allows for a more informed decision-making process regarding the child safety seat.

Faulty Car Seats

Regardless of an accident, a car seat is only as safe and effective as it is was designed and manufactured to be. For this reason, it’s important that parents stay up to date on child safety product recalls as well as be aware of what car seat to use and how to properly install it. Unfortunately, 37% of children who were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2017 were unrestrained, meaning that they were either not using a car seat at all or the car seat was ineffective.

Houston Car Accident Lawyers

Car accidents quite literally shake up a person’s world, and the aftereffects can leave victims confused and unsure of what steps to take next. No one should have to face the complexities of a car accident, especially those involving children, alone. If you or a loved one has been involved in a vehicle collision, contact the Houston car accident lawyers of Adame Garza today to discuss your case. There is limited time to act following a Texas personal injury accident, so don’t delay.