New Study Indicates Your Child's Booster Seat May Be Less Safe Than You Realize


February 21, 2012

Every day in Atlanta and throughout Georgia parents buckle their children into booster seats and leave home expecting that the safety device will keep their child safe in the event of a serious Atlanta car accident.

While it goes without saying that child safety seats are an invaluable piece of safety equipment, a new study suggests that many children are not nearly as safe in a booster seat as their parents might expect in the event of a car accident. According to the study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), half of all kids car booster seats do not provide a proper fit with seatbelts.

While any product that is designed or manufactured with defects or that provides inadequate instructions or warnings to ensure safe use is dangerous, the danger increases exponentially when the product is a piece of vital safety equipment like a child booster seat. Booster seats are designed for children that have become too big for forward facing car seats and are designed to elevate a child’s body so the adult seatbelt forms a proper fit. The IIHS study examined 4 to 8 year olds and the appropriateness of their fit when using the family’s child booster seat. The study revealed that of the 83 child booster seats tested, 41 did not fit properly with the vehicle seat and seat belt. When there is a poor fit with a child booster seat, the child is not positioned properly to maximize the benefit of a seatbelt in the case of a serious Atlanta car accident. This lack of proper positioning of a child’s body during a collision can result in serious injury.

Four of the booster seats tested in the study provided such a poor fit that the IIHS recommended that the booster seats should not be used at all. When a parent is attempting to determine if the booster seat fits properly to protect their child in the case of an auto accident, they should check to see that the lower belt sits flat across their child’s upper thigh region. If the child’s body is not positioned properly when restrained by the seatbelt, parts of the child’s body may be injured by impact with the interior of the vehicle in an Atlanta car crash. When the seatbelt is improperly positioned across the abdomen, the seatbelt itself can cause serious injury including damage to a child’s internal organs in a car accident.

It is important to emphasize that nothing in this study suggests that booster seats are not a valuable and even necessary piece of safety equipment, which may keep your child safe in an Atlanta car accident. If your child is between the ages of 4 and 8, your child is almost fifty percent less likely to be injured in an Atlanta car accident when using a child booster seat. However, you should check the fit of the booster seat to ensure that the seatbelt is properly positioned when your child is buckled up. It is also a good idea to check the ratings for your booster seat at the IIHS website to determine whether the brand and model of your booster seat rates well in terms of providing an appropriate fit to keep your child safe in an Atlanta car accident.

One of the most tragic parts of representing car accident victims of Atlanta is that sometimes our clients are the families of children that have been seriously injured. Our Atlanta car accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates are committed to car accident safety for children and their families. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in an Atlanta car accident, our compassionate and dedicated team of attorneys are here to answer your questions and help you seek the compensation you need to move past your accident.

Our Atlanta car accident lawyers are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

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