Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among children nationwide from age 2 to 14. As a parent, it’s crucial to remember that vehicles are dangerous, deadly objects, and that you should follow every safety measure to help limit risks in the event of a wreck.
Here are five things to remember when traveling with a child in your car.
1. Buckle Your Child Up – and Practice What You Preach
After your child has outgrown car seats, you still need to ensure they always have their seatbelt on when inside a vehicle.
Of the 23,824 passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2020, 51% were not wearing seat belts — a 4% increase from 2019 (NHTSA).
It’s especially important for children to be strapped in. Their lower body weight and stature makes them more prone to being ejected from their seat or the vehicle.
In 2017, seat belts saved an estimated 14,955 lives and could have saved an additional 2,549 people had they been wearing seat belts.
Set the example and buckle up. It could save you and/or your child’s life.
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2. Ensure You Don’t Have a Defective Car Seat
Certain car seat manufacturers have been forced to recall their products due to defective car seats that don’t effectively protect children. In 2016, Baby Trend TM recalled Hybrid LX 3-in-1 Centennial booster seats and Hybrid LX 3-in-1 Kiwi booster seats for a center adjuster rivet that can pull through or break when children over 40 lbs are occupying the seat.
It’s important to stay informed with child restraint car seat recalls. You can find a full list of recalls per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) here.
If you or someone you know has suffered from a motor vehicle accident due to somebody else’s negligence, contact the experienced car wreck lawyers at Cory Watson. Call 205-749-7934 today or complete this brief survey for your 100% free case review.
3. Avoid Distracted Driving – Particularly Cell-Phone Usage
Distracted driving sets a dangerous example for your children. Even worse, it puts both you and them at an increased risk of a potentially fatal motor vehicle accident.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year. Nearly 390,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving. 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.
In 2020, 3,142 lives were claimed on the roads due to a distracted driver (NHTSA).
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4. Ensure Your Vehicle Doesn’t Have a Defective Air Bag
We expect air bags to protect drivers and their passengers in motor vehicle accidents, but they have been linked to defects that can cause life-altering injuries, and even fatalities. There have been an alarming number of defective air bag recalls in recent years, leading to safety concerns and huge, nationwide recalls.
In 2017, 35 million vehicles were recalled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) due to faulty airbags, manufactured by Takata Corp., that may violently rupture in a crash. At least ten deaths worldwide (nine in the United States) were linked to a defective airbag, along with more than 100 injuries.
Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began investigations seven years ago into inflators manufactured by Tennessee-based company, ARC Automotive, after two passengers suffered injuries from flying shrapnel upon deployment. Just last October, a second person was killed by an ARC Air Bag due to flying shrapnel following the airbag’s deployment.
As a driver, it’s important to be aware of all air bag-related recalls and which vehicles are affected. Learn more here.
If you, your child, or someone you know has suffered from a defective air bag, contact one of Cory Watson’s experienced defective air bag attorneys here.
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5. Be Aware of Vehicle Updates and Recalls
Manufacturers aren’t always successful in making their vehicles as safe and secure as possible.
This year, crash tests showed 2022 Jeep Wrangler 4-door vehicles are extremely prone to tipping over, even in minor motor vehicle wrecks.
Tesla also recalled a staggering 500,000 vehicles following numerous safety issues. One California man became the first person charged with vehicular manslaughter from an accident involving a Tesla Model S operating on autopilot earlier this year. His car fatally struck and killed two people after inadvertently leaving the freeway and running a red light.
Always check for updated vehicle recalls – it could safe you and your child’s life.
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Cory Watson Attorneys is a nationally recognized personal injury law firm with offices in Birmingham, Alabama; Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee. The firm has recovered more than $3 billion for clients across the country. Attorneys are frequently at the forefront of major class actions and multidistrict litigations involving dangerous pharmaceuticals and product liability, and are often appointed to leadership positions in national cases. Firm practice areas include Personal Injury, Product Liability, Class Action, Asbestos, Business & Commercial Litigation, Dangerous Pharmaceuticals, Defective Medical Devices, and Environmental/Toxic Torts. To learn more, visit CoryWatson.com.