Indiana’s Child Safety Seat Laws: Protecting Our Children

Ichild safetyndiana’s Child Restraint Law requires all children under the age of 8 to be properly restrained in a child safety seat or booster seat according to the child restraint system manufacturer’s instructions.  Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13 years. The number one way to prevent this tragedy, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is using the right car seat at the right time in the right way.

So, what can you do to make a positive difference? Start by setting the right example. Always wear your seat belt every time you drive. Model the behavior you want others to follow, especially your kids. Before you start to drive, make sure all passengers are buckled up properly or properly restrained in the appropriate car seat.

Proper Booster Seat Usage

Booster seats are intended to provide a platform that lifts the child up off the vehicle seat in order to improve the fit of the child in the adult safety belt. The lap belt portion of the adult safety should be positioned across the child’s hips or pelvic area. An improper fit of an adult safety belt can cause the lap belt to ride up over the stomach and the shoulder belt to cut across the neck, potentially exposing the child to serious abdominal or neck injuries. Additionally, if the shoulder strap portion of the lap/shoulder belt is uncomfortable, children will likely place it behind their backs, defeating the safety benefits of the system.

Using a booster seat with a seat belt instead of a seat belt alone reduces a child’s risk of injury in a crash by 59%.  When used properly, child safety seats reduce fatal injury by 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers in passenger cars.   An estimated 263 lives were saved in 2011 by restraining children under age 5 in passenger vehicles. The best way to protect children age 12 and under from risks posed by air bags is to place them in the back seat where they are properly restrained by the appropriate child safety seat, booster seat or safety belt.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is currently planning to roll out new safety regulations for child car seats. Regulators say the new standards will save more children’s lives and prevent injuries.

If your child has suffered an injury in an auto accident due to the fault of another driver, give the lawyers at Schuerman Law a call to find out how we can help you get the justice and compensation you and your family deserve.  Schedule your free consultation today at 800-274-0045.

Photo Credit: emerille cc

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