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Proper Use of Child Restraint Devices is Critical in Keeping Children Safe in Cars

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, more than a thousand youngsters age 12 and younger die in passenger vehicle crashes every year. Another 100,000 are injured.

Of all unintentional injury deaths among U.S. children, one in four is attributable to car crashes. Many of these deaths are preventable. Simply securing a child properly in a car seat or booster seat reduces the risk of a fatality by 71 percent for infants and by 54 percent for toddlers.

According to a study by researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, proper booster seat usage by children ages 4 to 7 reduces the risk of injury by 59% compared to when seat belts alone are used. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that approximately 10,000 lives were saved by child restraints among children under age five from 1975 to 2011, with more than 260 lives saved in 2011 alone.

One big problem is that three-quarters of car seats on the highway today are not installed or used properly, placing small children at much higher risk of injury or death during a crash, according to the NHTSA.

Every state and the District of Columbia have enacted child restraint laws. Children in New York must be restrained in an appropriate restraint system when riding in a vehicle. Unfortunately, not all parents abide by the laws.

Attitudes about seat belts among parents play a role in whether they choose to properly restrain their child. Nearly 40 percent of children who were riding with drivers who were not wearing seatbelts were also unrestrained.

A recent Centers for Disease Control study found that during the course of a year, over 618,000 children under age 12 rode in a vehicle unrestrained at least some of the time.

Another issue even well-meaning and conscientious parents need to be aware of is the fact that some car seats are installed incorrectly. New York has child safety seat inspection stations. Here is a listing of the stations by county.

It is imperative that parents have their car seats inspected to make sure they are installed properly and to check for recalls. Parents who become aware that the car seat they are using is defective should replace it immediately. The NHTSA provides car seat recalls on its web site.

If your child has been injured in a car accident or other vehicle accident caused by another driver, contact an experienced New York car crash attorney. At David Resnick & Associates, P.C., we’ll provide an initial review of your claim at no charge. Call 855-725-5887 or contact us online.


  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (nhtsa.gov)
  • Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (iihs.org)
  • Centers for Disease Control (cdc.gov)
  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (chop.edu)

David Resnick founded the firm in 1998 after working in large law firms where he saw a need for greater client communication and more personal care. He wanted to help everyday folks who have had the misfortune to be injured in an accident.

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