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New US Department of Transportation Consumer Program for Child Safety Seats Will Help Parents Choose the Products that Best Fits Their Cars

The US Department of Transportation says that it is designing a consumer program to help parents and others select the child car seats that are the best fit for their motor vehicles. The new program will involve auto manufacturers recommending which child car safety seats should go with each vehicle. This initiative will go into effect at the start of the 2011 model year.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has also mandated that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration put together a new side impact safety standard for child safety seats. While the current standard mandating that a child car seat be able to withstand forces more severe than 99.5% of real-time crashes is effective, LaHood wants the NHTSA to improve the standards even more.
Car safety seat and child traffic accident facts:

  • 1/3rd of all highway fatalities involving kids younger than 13 occur during side impact crashes.
  • 50% of kids under age 8 killed in auto accidents were not using child safety seats.

The NHTSA task force charged with assessing current child safety regulations is recommending that research be conducted on ways to improve the current child safety seat standard for frontal impact crashes.
Some steps that you can take to make sure you are buying a good car seat:

  • Check to make sure that the seat is compatible with the LATCH system, which allows you to securely and easily fasten your seat to many cars and trucks.
  • Make sure the seat comes with side impact protection.
  • Buy a car seat with a 5-point safety harness.

However, just because one child safety seat performs well in one car doesn’t mean it will fit properly in another vehicle—even if the seat is considered one of the “best” and “safest” in the marketplace. The DOT’s new consumer program will help clear up a lot of confusion for parents who may not know whether a child seat is the right fit for their specific vehicles.
Child Safety and Auto Safety
Car makers and the manufacturers of child car seats are obligated to make sure that they manufacture products that are free from defects that could lead to personal injury or wrongful death. Product defects resulting in serious injury accidents can be grounds for a products liability lawsuit.
Child safety seats: Transportation chief pushes reform measures for vehicle manufacturers, Chicago Tribune, April 25, 2009
U.S. DOT Announces New Consumer Program for Child Safety Seats, NHTSA, April 24, 2009
Related Web Resources:
How to Choose the Best Child Safety Car Seat, InfoBarrel.com
Top 10 Cars for Kids in Car Seats, Edmunds.com

Contact our products liability lawyers at Gilbert & Ollanik, PC. We are considered one of the leading auto product liability law firms in the United States with the ability to secure the maximum from recovery from the largest car makers and child safety seat manufacturers in the world.

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