As of last week, police were deciding whether or not to charge a mother with negligence after her baby was ejected from the vehicle during a car accident. The Tennessee Department of Transportation said the mother turned a curve on Interstate 40 when she veered too far. She overcorrected and hit the barrier, which caused the SUV to roll over, flinging the 2-month-old baby out of the car. While the car seat was strapped to the car, the baby was not buckled into the harness.
However, the charges are pending while police investigate whether the car seat was working properly or if the product was defective and failed to keep the baby strapped in.
Defective Car Seats Can Increase the Chance of Serious Injury
Parents rely on car seats to keep their children safe in case the worst situation occurred and their family is in an accident. A fully functional car seat drastically reduces the chance for injuries or even death during a car crash. However, a defective car seat does the opposite, increasing the chance of serious injuries.
Between 1998 and 2001, there were approximately 10 million car seats that were recalled, injuring an estimated 500 children. The most common types of defects include the following:
- Faulty adjusters
- Faulty buckles or latches
- Flammable materials
- Weak frames
- Chest clips that are made too low
- Shoulder harness slots mislabeled
- Angle of recline
- Three-point harnesses
This past January, Britax recalled more than 200,000 car seats. Reportedly, the shoulder straps spontaneously loosened.
Car Seat Manufacturers Should Be Held Responsible for Injuries
More often the not, the child safety and vehicle industries refuse to accept responsibility for injuries suffered by children because of defective products. Instead, these companies have been known to blame parents for unsafe driving.
If you are uncertain if your car seat is safe, check the expiration date (yes, that’s a real thing). Check the instruction booklet to make sure the car seat has all of its parts. Check for cracks in the plastic, stiff buckles or frayed straps. Be sure to register your car seat so you can receive all notifications issued on the product, including whether or not it is being recalled. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also provides this information.
“Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.” Psalm 127:3-4