One of the leading causes of death for children under 13 years of age in the United States is car accidents. The best way to keep your child safe – and to protect them against car crash injuries – is to place your child in a booster seat.
Your children are always safer when they are properly restrained in the right car seat for each child’s size and weight, and a better understanding of the state’s car seat laws can help to ensure that your children are always buckled up safely.
The Indiana State Police share that about 85 percent of child safety seats throughout the nation are used incorrectly, which means there is plenty of room for improvement. Indiana’s car seat laws require that every child under the age of eight be properly restrained (according to the manufacturer’s instructions) in a child safety seat or booster seat that is the right size for the child.
In Indiana, the law requires that all passengers under eight years of age utilize child safety and restraint systems – and that they follow all safety instructions that the manufacturer posts. To determine the type of car seat your child must use when traveling, you will need to know their weight and height.
To ensure that your child does not outgrow their car seat, you should frequently monitor their height and weight.
The State of Indiana’s Child Restraint Law determines how children must be restrained in a vehicle, depending upon their weight, height, and age. While every state in the country has some version of this law, all states require babies and young children to sit in a booster seat when traveling by car.
Indiana’s laws become more specific according to your child’s size and age. In summary consider the following:
While parents can move a child who weighs at least 30 pounds to a booster seat, they are encouraged to wait until the child weighs 40 pounds to do so (making sure that the car seat is safe at this weight range).
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that car seats and booster seats do provide your children with considerable protection in the event of a crash, but that car accidents are still the leading cause of death for children who are between the ages of 1 and 13. This makes choosing the right seat for your child – and using it correctly every time – paramount.
NHTSA encourages parents to keep their children in the backseat until they turn 13. Further, keeping your children in their car seats until they outgrow the height or weight limitations is always the safest option. To help you find the right car seat for your little ones, NHTSA offers a Car Seat Finder that allows you to compare seats according to how easy they are to use correctly and to find the right one for you in the process.
Child booster seats in Indiana are not one-size-fits-all. When selecting a booster seat, you want to make sure that you select, install, and use the best-fitting seat for your child. A good booster seat will secure and restrain your child’s body in the event of a serious car accident.
There is no disputing that young children grow quickly in size. As a result, it can be difficult to find the right booster seat that will keep them safe while riding in a car. Therefore, you should be sure to routinely measure your child’s weight and height as they grow, ensuring that they are using the right type of car seat.
If you have any doubts before buying, reading the label (or product description/specs in case you’re online shopping) can help you figure out if you’re choosing the right booster seat.
Purchasing the right-sized seat for your child is the best way to keep your child safe while on the road. There are numerous resources available to help you find the right type of car seat for your child, including rear-facing seats, forward-facing seats, and booster seats.
In addition, you will want to make sure that you get a tight-fitting car seat for your child, that you install the appropriate car seat in the proper manner, and that you change out the seat as your child outgrows it.
Car booster seats offer your child the greatest amount of protection when they fit correctly.
When it comes to rear-facing car seats, you should be sure to place your child in the seat so that their back and hips touch the seat back. You should also ensure that the seat’s shoulder straps are either at or below your child’s shoulders. Finally, you should make sure that the shoulder straps fit snugly around your child tightly and that your child is secure in the seat.
When it comes to forward-facing car seats equipped with a harness, you should follow the same steps as with a rear-facing seat, including positioning your child in the seat correctly and tightening the shoulder straps. You must also make sure that you place the harness clip at your child’s armpit level, in the middle of their chest.
Finally, when it comes to child booster seats, you should make sure that the lap belt fits securely over your child’s thighs and that the shoulder belt crosses their shoulder and remains flat against their chest. If the shoulder restraint rubs against your child’s neck, you should adjust it appropriately. However, you should not place the shoulder restraint behind your child’s back – or under their arm. Doing so may cause them serious injuries in the event of a crash.
In summary, when it comes to child car seats and booster seats, there are various do’s and don’ts that you should follow. Following the do’s on this list helps to ensure that your child remains as safe as possible in the event of a car accident.
Even when children and adults utilize the proper safety restraints, car accidents may still lead to serious and debilitating injuries. These accidents usually result from some type of driver error or negligence. When a driver behaves negligently and causes an accident, other drivers and their passengers may suffer serious injuries, including traumatic head and brain injuries, soft tissue contusions, broken bones, or even paralysis injuries.
Even when infants and small children are sitting in the proper car seat, they may still suffer serious injuries in a car accident.
If your child suffered injuries in an accident that resulted from another driver’s negligence, they may be able to recover various damages. The amounts and types of damages they may recover in a personal injury claim or lawsuit typically depend upon the force of impact, the severity of their injuries, and the cost of their medical treatment. Common types of monetary damages that child accident victims may recover include compensation for:
The experienced Indiana car accident attorneys at Blackburn Romey can determine which of these damages your child might be eligible to recover in their personal injury claim or lawsuit. In addition to investigating the accident circumstances, our legal team can file a claim on your child’s behalf – usually with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
We can then pursue settlement negotiations with the handling claims adjuster. If the insurance company will not offer your child the fair damages that they deserve, we could file a lawsuit in the court system on your child’s behalf and litigate their case to a fair and efficient conclusion.
Purchasing and installing the correct car seat can help keep your child safe in the event of a motor vehicle crash, so we strongly encourage you to do so. However, accidents sometimes just happen.
If your child has been injured in a car accident that was caused by another driver’s negligence, you should not delay consulting with an experienced car accident attorney in Indiana.
The focused attorneys at Blackburn Romey recognize the gravity of your situation and have the experience, drive, and legal insight to help you seek the compensation to which you are entitled. Learn more about how we can help by contacting or calling us today.