By Michael Morse | October 4, 2008
Recent legislation passed in Michigan requires that children 4 to 8 years-old and under 4’ 9” use a booster seat. This common-sense requirement ensures that the seat belt is properly positioned to protect a child in a car accident. However, research by the University of Michigan and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) discovered that many of these booster seats do not put children in the best position to protect them. Of the 41 most popular seats, 13 received a ‘not recommended’ rating in the tests. IIHS President Adrian Lund said the 13 boosters “may increase restraint use by making children more comfortable, but they don’t position belts for optimal protection.” All of these seats do meet federal regulations.
Parents should also keep in mind that all of these booster seats offer more protection that simply strapping the child in without any booster seat. “Since seat belts are designed for adults, they do not fit children properly and can actually cause injuries during a crash,” said Michigan Department of Community Health Director Janet Olszewski. “Booster seats are a simple and inexpensive way to protect children in motor vehicle crashes.” Partners for Child Passenger Safety (PCPS) conducts the world’s largest ongoing study of children in crashes and analyzes actual crash data from 16 states, including Michigan. PCPS reports that the risk of injury for a 4 to 8 year-old child is reduced by 59 percent when using a car seat or booster seat. Children in seat belts alone are four times more likely to suffer head/brain injuries as compared to those in booster seats. Booster seats position the seat belt across the child’s lower hips and mid-shoulders instead of the abdomen because the liver and spleen are more vulnerable to injuries.
Many police and fire departments will do free safety inspections of child car seats and booster seats. Check with your locality to see if they offer this service.
For more information on this, or other car accident questions, call the Auto Accident Claim Center at 800-281-0606, or visit us online at michigan-auto-attorney.com.
Topics: michigan Car Accident Lawyer |
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