While car manufacturers are constantly innovating designs to reduce injuries, the simple fact is that seat belts, airbags, and other vehicle safety features are specifically designed to protect adults. Those features aren’t able to completely cover infants or smaller children, which is why you need to prepare for the possibility of an auto accident by taking precautions with a car seat.
Child Car Seat Laws You Need to Know in Pennsylvania
More than just a common-sense addition to your vehicle, car seats are legally required in Pennsylvania. Under state law, all children must be fastened with a proper restraint system. The specific type of device to use varies depending on age, weight, and height. Here’s what you need to know:
- Anyone under 2 years old must always be fastened in a rear-facing car seat.
- After outgrowing the maximum height/weight of the rear-facing seat (which will vary by model), a child can switch to a forward-facing car seat.
- Children between 4 and 8 that have outgrown the forward-facing seat must use a belt-positioned booster seat.
- Kids between 8 and 18 no longer using a booster seat must use a seat belt.
After installing any type of car seat, it is important to regularly check on recalls for your specific model in case you are in a collision at some point. Resources like PAKidsTravelSafe highlight recalls and offer car seat loan programs, while the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia provides in-person checks to ensure your seat is installed properly.
Why You Need a Car Seat and What to Do if Your Child is Injured
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, 82% of kids under the age of 4 involved in car accidents were able to avoid injury completely when properly using a car seat.
While that percentage makes it clear that car seats should always be utilized, they still aren’t able to completely prevent every injury in every crash. Due to the high rate of accidents that occur on Pennsylvania streets and highways every single day, the number of children hurt in accidents is higher than you might expect.
If you’ve been in an accident and your child is hurt, after seeking medical assistance your next call should be to an experienced auto accident attorney. You may be able to hold the at-fault driver or even the car seat manufacturer responsible for the injury.
Was Your Little One Hurt in a Vehicle Collision?
An attorney can work with you to gather evidence on the crash and recover compensation for your child’s medical bills, pain and suffering, and any ongoing treatment that may be required. Request a consultation with Heslin Law Firm to find out if you have a strong insurance claim or need to take your case to court.