Over $300 million in sales are conducted in the car seat industry and nearly 4 million new car seats are bought and installed each year in the United States. Most states have made it a legal requirement for children under the age of eight to ride in car seats as opposed to being restrained with a seatbelt. The effectiveness of these car seats has come under scrutiny, however, and car seat manufacturers have been recalling products due to poor designs and materials in car seats that have caused harm to the children they were supposed to protect.
Questionable Effectiveness of Car Seats
In a joint study performed in 2006 at the University of Chicago and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, it was determined that while car seats do prevent more non-serious injuries than the use of a seatbelt, it was also determined that they offered almost no added benefit in the reduction of serious and traumatic injuries. In addition to this revelation, there were several other staggering discoveries that were made in the study.
- 80% of child safety seats are installed improperly. It is suggested that this may be due to the fact that the seats lack proper installation information and it is extremely difficult for consumers to determine if the seats that they are purchasing are even compatible with the make and model of the vehicles they are intended for.
- Children are only 2-4% less likely to sustain trauma to the spine, neck and head while utilizing a child safety seat when compared to using a seatbelt or lap only belt.
- If children were to be restrained by traditional seatbelts as opposed to car seats, they would suffer 25% more minor, non-life threatening injuries that would result in $72 million in medical expenses while the cost of those car seats is $200 million. At the same time, those seats only reduce fatal or traumatic and life changing injuries by 2%.
Car Seat Manufacturing & Design Defects
In addition to failing to provide much benefit where it actually counts, most car seats fail to meet the standards set forth by the NTSB for safety and efficacy. Poor designs, harnesses, padding and straps that fit too loosely increase the rate of severe injury. Many of the injuries sustained by children due to manufacturer defect are to the head or spine and may leave the child paralyzed or impaired for the rest of his or her life.
It is not an unreasonable expectation that if the use of car seats is mandated by law that the car seats meet their minimum standards and provide an added benefit over the use of seatbelts. If a safety device fails to perform its primary function, the manufacturer of the device should be held liable for the costs incurred for medical bills and the pain and suffering caused to the child and his or her family. It is the goal of the auto product liability attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC to provide restitution to the families of those who have suffered because the product that they purchased to keep their children safe failed to do its job.
Lawyers Who Know The Danger Of Defective Child Car Seats
If your child has been injured in an accident and you believe that your car seat’s failure to provide adequate protection is at fault, we are here to help you. Call or email us today and we will go over every detail of your case with you during a free consultation. We will never charge you for our services unless we are able to collect damages on your behalf.