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How Safe Is Your Child in the Backseat?

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Car Accidents

backseat, Orland Park personal injury lawyerDuring the 1990s, airbags became standard equipment in virtually all passenger vehicles sold in the United States. This led to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), as well as auto manufacturers and other government agencies, to advise parents to keep young children in the backseat. In the event of a car crash, the backseat is supposed to be the safest place for children.

Dangerous Positioning

Regulators and experts have offered such advice because airbags – although a potential life saver for a front-seat adult occupant in the event of a crash – can seriously injure, even kill, young children if the airbag deploys while the child is in the front seat. This is because the force of the explosion of the bag, which is approximately 200 m.p.h., can be withstood by an adult body, but to the small bones of a child, that force can be crushing.

Seat Failure and Collapse

However, there may be another critical danger that parents have not been warned about when they place their child in the back seat – the risk of seat failure in a rear-end crashes. When a vehicle is hit a high or moderate speed in the back by another vehicle, the impact can cause one or both front seats to collapse. The occupant of the seat, even if wearing a seatbelt, can be propelled headfirst into the backseat. There is, of course, also a danger to backseat passengers, who can be critically injured or killed when struck by either the collapsing seat or the front seat passenger who is being flung toward the back.

Petitions for Awareness

The Center for Auto Safety recently filed a petition with the NHTSA, urging them to warn parents that when children are seated in the backseat of a vehicle, they should be behind either an unoccupied seat or behind the occupant who weighs less. The organization also petitioned that the NHTSA require that all automakers put this warning in owner manuals.

There have been multiple lawsuits filed by parents of children who have been killed or severely by seat failure in rear-end crashes against both the driver who causes the crash, as well as the automakers of the vehicles in the families were driving. In one case, the automaker was found to be 55 percent liable for one victim’s injuries.

If you or a family member has been injured in a car crash, contact an experienced Orland Park personal injury attorney. Call Issa Law, LLC at 708-966-2408 today for your free consultation.

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