Each and every day across this nation, approximately 529 children are injured and approximately four children age 14 and younger are killed in traffic accidents, according to the 2008 statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Sadly during the same year, about 240 fatalities occurred to children under the age of four. Of these statistics approximately 33% of these children were unrestrained in the vehicle.
This is why is it important to have children safely secured in child restraints to prevent injuries during South Florida car accidents.
Some child fatalities could be prevented by the use of child safety seats in Florida.When a child younger than one-year-old is restrained in the proper safety seat, it can reduce fatal injuries by 71% and 54% to toddlers age one to four.
Research has shown that 244 children under the age of five were saved because of the use of child restraints in 2008. If child safety seats were used for children under five, research has estimated that about an additional 79 more lives could have been saved that same year.
Because child safety seats are so important to the safety of children riding in vehicles, NHTSA reevaluated its recommendations and produced new guidelines in March 2011.
NHTSA indicates that a child needs to be kept in each restraint for as long as possible before changing their seat out to the next level. These new age-focused guidelines call for parents to leave their infants in rear-facing child seats for as long as he or she fits and is within the manufacturer’s height and weight recommendations.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Florida Child Restraint Laws Include:
- Newborn to 3 years old: Children through age three must be in child restraint.
- Ages 4 and 5: Must be in a rear seat, but an adult safety belt is permissible. It is still in the child’s best interest to be in a separate carrier or integrated child safety seat.
If a parent is stopped and their children are not secured in child restraints, the maximum fine for the first offense is $60, plus points for not complying with Florida’s child passenger safety laws.
However, if your child was in the proper car seat and safety restraint and he or she was still injured in a car accident, you may be able to recover damages. Contact the Law Offices of David Benenfeld to speak with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer in Fort Lauderdale today if your child has been hurt in a South Florida car accident. To schedule a free legal consultation with us, call [number type=”2″] or [number type=”1″].