Children have softer bones and more fragile bodies than adults. This means that they are more vulnerable to serious injuries in car accidents. To keep your child safe and reduce their risk of harm in the event of a crash, it’s essential to follow child passenger safety tips. Below, we discuss how to keep children safe in cars on Alabama roadways.
If your child sustains an injury in a car accident that was the result of another party’s negligent or reckless actions, reach out to Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. to speak with a skilled Alabama car accident lawyers. We can help determine liability and inform you of your legal options. Call us at (205) 933-1500 today, or reach out through the online form to schedule a free consultation of your case.
Alabama, just like every other state, has its own car seat laws. Car seats are designed to prevent children from sustaining crushing injuries from other passengers during a crash. They also protect them from flying out of a car upon impact, and evenly spread the force over their entire bodies rather than one localized area.
There are a variety of different types of car seats available. Each product is specifically engineered for children that meet certain age and weight requirements. While some car seats are for infants and toddlers, others are for older children. Before purchasing a car seat for your child, it’s vital to understand Alabama laws and guidelines regarding car seats.
Under Alabama law, infants and toddlers must be securely placed in rear-facing car seats until they turn 1, or are 20 pounds. In most cases, rear-facing car seats attach to a car using its seat belt or latch system. Keep in mind that rear-facing car seats should never be secured forward or in front of a deploying airbag.
Once your child no longer qualifies to sit in a rear-facing car seat, they should be placed in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until they are 5-years-old or reach 40 pounds in weight. As soon as they outgrow the forward-facing car seat, you may purchase a booster seat for them to sit in.
The booster seat should be used until your child is tall enough to wear a seat belt when they are around 6 years of age. If your child can sit with their feet touching the floor of the vehicle with their knees bent at the edge of the seat and back against the back of it, they have likely graduated from the car seat phase and are ready to wear a seat belt like an adult.
The greatest consequence of not using the appropriate car seat for your child’s age and weight is a serious injury or death in the event of a crash. In addition, if you break Alabama car seat laws, you may be faced with a $25 fine. Alabama car seat laws are fairly straightforward, but if you do have a question about them, contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Auto Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 13. By failing to secure your child correctly into the appropriate car seat, you can put them at serious risk. If your son or daughter happens to incur injuries in a crash that was not your fault, even though they were wearing a car seat, contact Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. as soon as possible. We can investigate your case and may be able to help you recover compensation.