Common child safety seat defects that can hurt or kill children in car accidents

Parents in Missouri and Illinois typically know just how important it is to buckle their children properly into their child safety or booster seats each and every time they pile into the car for a trip, whether it’s just around the corner or across the country.  Children are the most precious “cargo” they will ever transport and most feel that they are doing the best thing possible to keep them safe.  Unfortunately, however, child safety and booster seats all-too-often fail to protect their occupants, whether due to defects in design, manufacturing, or installation.  Child seat manufacturers have been aware of many of these issues for decades, yet many of them fail to take relatively simple steps that could increase the safety of children everywhere.  No parent wants to be put in the situation of contacting a St. Louis personal injury attorney after an auto accident seriously injures or – most tragically of all – kills a child, but sometimes this is the situation they may be put into by a child safety seat failure.

When it comes to motor vehicle accidents, the principles of crashworthiness were developed over 70 years ago to promote safety in the design of vehicles and the safety restraint systems that go into them.  Crashworthiness refers to the science of using a multitude of safety systems to either minimize or prevent serious injury or death in the event of a car accident.  For a vehicle to be considered crashworthy, it must maintain vehicle survival space, restrain its occupants, prevent them being ejected from the vehicle, control the forces of crash energy, and prevent fires in the wake of any crash.

A child’s car or booster seat becomes an integral part of this safety chain once it is installed in a vehicle.  Parents depend upon these seats to maximize their child’s chance for survival in a serious car accident while minimizing any injuries that are suffered in such a collision.  Parents – rightfully so – never expect that a simple defect in such a vital object could ever put their child’s life in jeopardy.  One thing they may be able to do, however is keep an eye out for some potential pitfalls when it comes to child safety seats.

Various defects in child safety seats that can injure or kill children in collisions

Three-point harness.  A three-point harness on a child safety seat only has a single crotch strap that connects with two other straps resting over the child’s shoulders.  Unfortunately, these types of harnesses do not appropriately restrain a child’s pelvis during a collision.  This could lead to a child banging around against interior parts of the car or, in the worst-case scenario, being ejected from the seat entirely.  According to safety statistics, individuals who are ejected from a vehicle have a 37 times greater risk of dying.  The ideal child safety seat design for keeping children properly restrained and to significantly lower the chance of ejection will implement a five-point harness like those worn by many race car drivers.

T-shield design.  A child seat with a T-shield design means that the shoulder straps of the seat connect to a flat T-shaped plastic pad on a rigid frame buckled into the shell of the child safety seat at a point between the child’s legs.  In this type of seat, a child’s throat can slam into the top of the T-shield due to the force produced in a car crash.  Safety testing indicates that the neck forces in a collision involving children in a T-shield seat are up to 40 percent stronger than in children who travel in five-point harnesses.

Tray shield.  This type of child safety seat possesses a “tray shield,” which swings in front of the child on a hinge apparatus.  A crotch strap is fastened into a slot that sits between the child’s legs.  Brian injury can be the tragic result in the case of a padded tray snapping off and slamming into the child; or alternatively, the child’s head smashing into the tray, if a car accident occurs.

You may wish to seek justice now if your child has been hurt or injured by safety seat defects in a car accident

These are just a few of the potential child seat defects which could lead to serious injury or death in a catastrophic car accident.  Parents in Illinois or Missouri whose children have been hurt or killed in a car accident due to what they believe is a child seat defect may be able to take action in a civil court of law to hold a child seat manufacturer liable.  This can help cover some of the expenses that have been occurred due to death or injury, and may send a strong message to the manufacturers of these seats that safety cannot be sacrificed at the cost of innocent children’s lives.

My law firm stands ready to assist those who have been hurt by the negligence of others in car accidents or other similar incidents.  Please contact us today in order to schedule a free consultation so we can find out whether my law firm can help you gain the justice you seek.  We never charge anything for these consultations, and you will only pay us anything in the event that we collect money on your behalf.  Please call my St. Louis, Missouri personal injury car accident law firm toll-free at 1-888-586-7041 so we can discuss your case as soon as possible.  The sooner you act, the better chance you will have to preserve vital evidence in your case.

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