Our Knoxville car accident lawyers want you to be aware of the recent announcement by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding new recommendations for car seats. The most significant change is to keep children in rear facing seats for as long as possible to prevent serious injuries in a Tennessee car accident.
Research conducted by The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) found that, up until the age of 2, children riding in rear-facing car seats are more than five-times safer than in any other seat. They recommended children stay in rear-facing car seats until they outgrow them.
The NHTSA recommends looking for a car seat that fits well in your vehicle and one that is based on your child’s age and size. Proper installation of the seat should follow the safety seat manufacturer instructions and the vehicle’s owner manual. Children, until at least the age of 12, should ride in the back seat.
“The ‘best’ car seat is the one that fits your child, fits your vehicle and one you will use every time your child is in the car,” says Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
Guidelines to follow by age from the NHTSA include:
Newborn to 12 Months: Should always be in a rear-facing car seat. They can be in an infant-only car seat, a convertible seat or 3-in-1 seat. It is advisable to have either a convertible or 3-in-1 seat that has higher size limits so they can be used longer.
1 to 3 years: Keep your child in a rear-facing seat until he reaches the limits for height or weight according to the car seat manufacturer. This is the best method to keep the child safe.
4 to 7 years: Keep your child harnessed in a forward-facing car seat until they reach the maximum height or weight limit allowed by the car seat manufacturer.
8 to 12 years: Keep your child in a booster seat until they are big enough to fit properly in a seat belt. The lap belt should be snug across the hips, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should be snug across the shoulder and chest, never across the neck or face. Children should stay in the back seat until they are at least age 12.
“Selecting the right seat for your child can be a challenge for many parents. NHTSA’s new revised guidelines will help consumers pick the appropriate seat for their child,” says David Strickland, Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
If you or a loved one is injured or killed in an accident in Tennessee, contact Hartsoe Law Firm, P.C. for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights with our Knoxville injury lawyers and Maryville accident attorneys. Call (877) 472-5657.