Child Car Seats are More Than a Safe Decision
Car seats are by far the best way to ensure that children are secure during a collision. In North Carolina, state leaders have been pushing for drivers to be more conscientious about buckling up, especially for kids. Many people still fail to see the necessity of these safety measures, and that can cost them in the long run.
Knowing the Law
It’s not only safer to use child safety car seats, it’s also North Carolina law. Any child under the age of 16 is required to wear the appropriate restraint while a vehicle is in motion. According to their size, kids should be in a backward-facing or forward-facing safety chair or a booster in the back seats. Remember that this is not based on age but on height and weight. If a 15-year-old has grown out of a booster seat, then the standard belt is acceptable.
Another important factor to keep in mind is the statute of limitations on injury claims. North Carolina law states that the standard statute expires after three years, but this isn’t the case for minors. Because children are considered to be “under disability,” and they do not have the initial right to sue or be sued, making the statute moot. This is reinstated when the youth turns 18 when he or she has agency; only then does the three-year limitation go into effect. As such, a child who was injured in an accident at the age of 10 would have until he or she is 21 for the statute to run out, 11 years after the initial accident occurred.
Proper Installation is Key
Perhaps the most important aspect of car seat safety is having it installed correctly. Many parents feel that they can rely on shop employees or even their own know-how to prepare child safety seats for use. The reality is much different. According to the CDC, almost 60% of car seats and 20% of booster seats are being used in a way that makes them virtually ineffective.
To combat this, many states, including North Carolina, have assistance centers specifically for installing car seats. At these locations, a qualified professional will check the setup and ensure it is secured appropriately, taking the guesswork out of your child’s safety. In addition, it’s important to know when children should rely on car and booster seats and when they have grown enough to wear a standard lap/shoulder belt.
To learn more about how you can keep your family safe or what to do if an accident should occur, contact GMFM Law Firm in Durham. Our team is ready to help you make the best decisions for you and your family’s future.