The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched a website for parents, Parents Central. The NHTSA describes the site as a “gateway to information and resources to keeping kids safe”. The site offers advice on everything from purchasing your first car seat for all the way to giving them the keys to their first car.
Our VA car accident injury attorneys have foudn that the site also offers advice on how to avoid seat belt entanglements, vehicle backovers, vehicle rollaways and safety when there are power windows. The NHTSA also recommends that children sit in the back seat of a vehicle until at least twelve years of age. Other child vehicle safety recommendations include:
- Children under age one should always be in a rear-facing car seat.
- From ages one to three, children should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by the car seat’s manufacturer. Once a child outgrows a rear-facing seat, they’re ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness.
- From the ages of four to seven, a child should stay in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until they outgrow the seat. At that point, they should be in a booster seat.
- From the ages of eight to twelve, keep the child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face.
The Virginia Injury Lawyer Perspective:
Tragically, no matter how safe parents try to keep their children, there are still accidents that occur that can injure or even kill a child because of someone else’s fault. We recently reported on a lawsuit filed against Chrysler Group LLC by the family of a toddler who was killed when the Jeep Cherokee he was in exploded into flames after another car plowed into their vehicle.