Behind Unoccupied Front Seat, Safest Spot for Kids in Cars

Behind Unoccupied Front Seat, Safest Spot for Kids in Cars

Posted By Sette & Parnoff, PC || 4-Nov-2016

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been telling people to avoid seating their children in the front of cars for years. Recently, the Center for Auto Safety (CAS) has pleaded for the NHTSA to make its wording even more specific, following a string of seatback failure accidents and injuries. Instead of just choosing any seat in the back of a car, parents should always sit young children, toddlers, and infants in the seat behind an unoccupied front seat. For minivans or SUVs with three rows of seating, children should be seated behind any available empty seat.

Studies and safety alerts in recent months have brought attention to the dangers of collapsing seatbacks. The Center for Auto Safety has studied rear-seated child fatality records dating back to the 1990s. It found that 900 children within that study period died in rear-impact decisions, usually from a collapsing seat in front of them.

Impact forces at speeds as low as just 30 miles per hour can cause a seat to collapse under the weight of the adult in it. As the seat collapses, the full weight of the adult is forced backwards, creating a serious crush hazard for any children there.

Seatback Collapse Dangers in All Cars

One study found that nearly all makes and models of automobiles manufactured in the last few decades have serious seatback defects. Essentially, if a seat can recline, it has a chance of collapsing in a rear-end impact. Only a few cars have a double-reinforced reclining system that seems to prevent collapse failures.

It should be noted that seatback collapses do not occur 100% of the time. In fact, the percentage of incidence could be as low as 3%, which is what keeps the NHTSA from enforcing any federal regulations on seatback design. The NHTSA will not get funding to research potential problems until it is considered “prevalent enough” to warrant an investigation. Assuming the rate of incidence is just 3% and not every collapse causes an injury or fatality, it is too uncommon to land on the administration’s radar. This is why the CAS is urging them to at least change their verbiage when it comes to safely seating children in a car.

For more information about seatback failure dangers, Consumer Affairs posted a useful article, which can be viewed here. If you or your child have been seriously injured in a car accident, the Hamden personal injury lawyers at Sette & Parnoff, PC can help you learn your rights and seek proper compensation. Call 203.285.3075 today to request a free evaluation to learn how much your case could be worth.

DEDICATED TO FINDING A SOLUTION

For You and Your Family

WE ARE HERE TO HELP

Set up your free consultation today.

When a loved one has been injured because of another person’s recklessness, or you have suffered because of a corporation’s negligence, we are here to stand up for your rights and help you to full financial recovery. We are willing to travel out to you if you are unable to come out to our office, and we can discuss your legal options at no cost. We are dedicated to achieving justice for you. Our personal injury lawyers get results. Please don’t hesitate to contact us today.