San Antonio Law Firm Helps Community Improve Child Safety In Cars
San Antonio, TX based Carabin Shaw P.C. is taking steps to educate their community on the dangers of misused child car seats. According to the firm, a large number of child car seats are estimated to be used improperly, and this could result in life-threatening situations for children, especially when their parents may otherwise assume they are safely buckled in for a trip.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 60% of child car seats are improperly used, rendering them more of a safety hazard than helpful to their occupants. Given that motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among children, the firm believes this is of particular concern since many are now going back to school or taking to the road on trips with their parents. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that parents tend to believe that their children are properly buckled up. As such, the firm encourages parents to take another look at the situation to determine whether they are putting their car seat to its best use. They should also account for the fact that all car seats are not made equal, and their child may be better suited to certain models than others.
“We encourage parents to take advantage of car seat safety checks available during Passenger Safety Week (September 19-25th). With a proper car seat, car seat installment and seat belt placement, children are far safer during a motor vehicle collision," said Carabin Shaw Attorney Carla Dixon. "Knowing the guidelines for height and weight for your children is also extremely important to ensure your child is in the proper car seat or booster seat. Serious injuries can be greatly reduced as well if we place children in rear-facing car seats until ages 2-4.” A proper car seat here refers to a product that is appropriate for both a child’s age and size. It should also be installed correctly to ensure it functions as intended.
The firm also points out that the Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) free safety seat inspections are available throughout the year. Those who wish to schedule a virtual car seat check-up with a TxDOT Traffic Safety Specialist may visit SaveMeWithaSeat.org and enter their ZIP code to find the nearest TxDOT district office. Similarly, parents and other concerned parties may use the website to look up whether a child in their care should be in a rear-facing, forward-facing or booster seat. Making the necessary adjustments to a daily safety habit can make the difference between suffering only mild injuries in an accident on the road and much more serious consequences.
Furthermore, Carabin Shaw P.C. explains that Texas law requires that all children younger than 8 years old be secured in a child safety seat (unless they are taller than 4 feet 9 inches) whenever they ride in a vehicle. Older children who have outgrown a booster seat must be buckled with a seat belt. Failure to properly restrain a child can result in a ticket of up to $250.
Certain actions can be taken to ensure compliance with the law and all safety standards. To begin with, the right car seat should be purchased. Babies, for instance, need to ride in a rear-facing car seat as long as possible until 2 or more years. When the child outgrows this seat, they are ready for a forward-facing car seat. Parents are encouraged to contact experts on the subject (or use freely accessible, reputable online resources) to make sure they are following the right guidelines. Next, the firm states that car seats should be secured in the appropriate manner. Either seat belts or the lower anchors may be used. Notably, while either option is considered to be safe, they should not be used at the same time. Once the child transitions to a forward facing car seat, it is important to use the tether with the seat belt or lower anchors. Here too, many resources are available online that illustrate the correct way to install a seat.
On the other hand, the child should be fitted for their seat. A properly fitted harness gives the best possible protection for the child, holding them securely in place in the event of an accident. Just as children are known for quickly outgrowing their clothes, they can outgrow their car seat. As such, a new seat should be purchased when it is no longer suitable. The firm suggests that parents check the car seat label to ensure their child is still within its weight, height and age limits
Carabin Shaw is a personal injury law firm representing Texas car accident victims and their families. For nearly 30 years, the dedicated and knowledgeable personal injury and wrongful death lawyers at Carabin Shaw have provided accident victims with high-quality legal representation, recovering more than $1 billion on their behalf. Carabin Shaw attorneys understand that this is an extremely challenging time for accident victims and their families and do everything they can to make the process as easy as possible. Carabin Shaw offers all prospective clients a free consultation and can be reached through their official website.
For more information about Carabin Shaw P.C., contact the company here:
Carabin Shaw P.C.
630 Broadway St
San Antonio, TX 78215