Fatal Crash Highlights Importance of Car Seats

by Carmen Dellutri on May 1, 2013

Cape Coral accident lawyerA car seat is credited with saving the life of a six-month-old Florida baby. Unfortunately, the tragic accident claimed the life of her mother, who was not wearing a seatbelt.

According to Florida Highway Patrol, after the mother lost control of the vehicle, it veered off the highway and flipped several times. However, the baby was found securely strapped in a child seat in the back of the car. She sustained only minor injuries.

The Florida accident highlights that a car seat can mean the difference between life and death in a serious accident. However, in order to be effective, it must be properly installed. Because it is so important, below are a few of the most common car seat mistakes:

  • Using LATCH in the rear-center seating position when not permitted by the vehicle manufacturer. Many parents make the mistake of using the inner anchor for each outboard seat to install a car seat in the center seat using LATCH.  If the vehicle does not support a LATCH installation in the rear-center seat, use a seat belt to secure the car seat, or move the car seat to an outboard seat. Be sure to always consult the vehicle owner’s manual before installing a car seat in any vehicle.
  • Using both the seatbelt AND the LATCH system to install the car seat. While parents may think using both the seat belt and the LATCH system will provide additional protection, the opposite may be true.  In the event of a crash, belts are designed to expand and absorb crash forces.  If both systems are used, the crash forces may be distributed improperly, resulting in injury or death.
  • Using the wrong belt path with the LATCH attachments to install the car seat. Convertible car seats have belt paths for both rear-facing and forward-facing installations.  When installing the car seat, consult the car seat manufacturer’s instructions to determine which belt path to use.  Selecting the incorrect belt path will leave the seat improperly secured.

Parents and caregivers can also get help at a car seat inspection station. In the Fort Myers area, locations include the Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, the Golisano South Trail Fire and Rescue, and Babies R Us. A full list is available here.

For more information about child safety restraints, please stay tuned for tomorrow’s post.

The Dellutri Law Group is focused on making bad situations better and putting lives back together. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Fort Myers accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.

To learn more about your legal options, contact our experienced Fort Myers injury attorneys for a free consultation.

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