According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for children aged three to 14 years old. Research shows that car seats reduce the risk of being fatally injured in a car accident by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, motor vehicle crash deaths among children under the age of 12 decreased 43% from 2002 to 2011, primarily due to the use of age- and size-related child restraints. The CDC also reported that one-third of children killed in car accidents during that same period were not buckled up.
The CDC provides these car seat recommendations to protect children while in the car, based on your child’s age and size:
- Rear-facing car seat from birth up to age 2
Buckle children in a rear-facing seat until age 2 or when they reach the upper weight or height limit of that seat.
- Forward-facing car seat from age 2 up to at least age 5
When children outgrow their rear-facing seat, they should be buckled in a forward-facing car seat until at least age 5 or when they reach the upper weight or height limit of that seat.
- Booster seat from age 5 up until seat belt fits properly
Once children outgrow their forward-facing seat, they should be buckled in a booster seat until seat belts fit properly. The recommended height for proper seat belt fit is 57 inches tall.
- Seat belt once it fits properly without a booster seat
Children no longer need to use a booster seat once seat belts fit them properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lies across the upper thighs (not the stomach) and the shoulder belt lies across the chest (not the neck).
Although Texas law only requires child safety seats for children under the age of 4 and a booster seat for children under the age of 8, every child unable to properly wear a seat belt should be restrained in a moving vehicle.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury, the experienced personal injury legal team at Roberts & Roberts is here to help with compassionate, aggressive representation. Please call 800-248-6000 or contact us for a free consultation.