Over the past few decades, car manufacturers have made substantial progress in car safety, and motorists have also benefited from better information and education on how to stay safe while behind the wheel. Since the advent of airbags in the late 1980’s, tens of thousands of additional lives have been saved. As newer models of vehicles emerge, we continue to see incredibly complex airbag systems; in fact, many of us have no idea what to expect should they be deployed in an accident.
Deployed Airbags May Cause Danger to Anyone Sitting Too Close
The airbag is meant to work in tandem with the seatbelt, keeping the motorists and passengers in a safer position should they be in an accident. The irony is that sometimes the airbags themselves cause serious—and even fatal—injuries. As the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states, airbags inflate quickly on impact and can be especially harmful if the occupant of the car is sitting too close. This is more of an issue for shorter drivers, and children, as they tend to have their seats pulled up further.
Younger Children Should Ride in the Back Seat
Your car probably has a warning on the passenger side about allowing children of a certain height or weight to sit there as well as prohibiting placing a baby in a rear-facing seat there, unless the airbag is turned off. And as the CDC quite plainly states, ‘airbags can kill children riding in the front seat.’ Parents will often find that their children are quite eager and persistent about asking to ride up front as it seems more mature, and they imagine they will have a better vantage point while you are traveling. Quite simply though, it is not worth the danger—and even if it’s just for a short ride, accidents often happen surprisingly close to home.
Use Proper Child & Booster Seats
The best rules to follow for keeping your kids safe in the car are to make sure that babies and toddlers are in age- and size-appropriate car or booster seats. Babies should not graduate to front-facing seats until after the age of two, where they should ride until age five. After that a booster seat is suitable until they’ve grown enough to wear a seatbelt comfortably. Older children should always be wearing their seatbelts, and be riding in the back seat of your vehicle unless they are 13 or over.
Contact us Now if You Have Been Injured
Due to the number of distracted drivers on the roads today, not to mention those who are inebriated, tired, or inexperienced, it’s more important than ever to drive defensively and take every precaution necessary. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car or motorcycle accident, please call Heintz & Becker for a free consultation with one of personal injury attorneys. We handle all types of Florida personal injury cases, and our law firm has established an impressive record of verdicts and settlements. If you have been seriously injured, call us now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!
All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.