If you are planning a summer road trip, the injury attorneys with Althauser Rayan Abbarno remind you to buckle-up and drive safely. One of the safest choices drivers and passengers can make is to buckle up. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2016, seat belt use in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 14,668 lives. Many Americans understand the lifesaving value of the seat belt – the national use rate is at 90.1 percent – but nearly 27.5 million people still don’t buckle up.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called motor vehicle safety one of the top 10 U.S. public health achievements of the 20th century. Despite this, motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among those aged 1-54 in the U.S. For adults and older children (who are big enough for seat belts to fit properly), seat belt use is one of the most effective ways to save lives and reduce injuries in crashes. Yet millions do not buckle up on every trip.
Over the course of one year, crash injuries cost an estimated $18 billion in lifetime medical expenses and $33 billion of lifetime work lost. Worse than injuries, missed work, and medical costs, motor vehicle injuries are a leading cause of death among children in the United States. What can you do?
Know the stages for child safety restraint use and make sure children are properly buckled up in a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt, whichever is appropriate for their age, height and weight.
- Birth up to Age 2: Rear-facing car seat.
- For the best possible protection, infants and children should be buckled in a rear-facing car seat, in the back seat, until age 2 or when they reach the upper weight or height limits of their particular seat. Check the seat’s owner’s manual and/or labels on the seat for weight and height limits.
- Age 2 up to at least Age 5: Forward-facing car seat.
- When children outgrow their rear-facing seats they should be buckled in a forward-facing car seat, in the back seat, until at least age 5 or when they reach the upper weight or height limit of their particular seat. Check the seat’s owner’s manual and/or labels on the seat for weight and height limits.
- Age 5 up until seat belts fit properly: Booster seat.
- Once children outgrow their forward-facing seat, (by reaching the upper height or weight limit of their seat), they should be buckled in a belt positioning booster seat until seat belts fit properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs (not the stomach) and the shoulder belt lays across the chest (not the neck). Remember to keep children properly buckled in the back seat for the best possible protection.
- Once Seat Belts Fit Properly without a Booster Seat: Seat Belt
- Children no longer need to use a booster seat once seat belts fit them properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs (not the stomach) and the shoulder belt lays across the chest (not the neck). For the best possible protection keep children properly buckled in the back seat.
- Buckle all children aged 12 and under in the back seat.
- Don’t Seat Children in Front of an Airbag
- Parents and Caregivers: Always Wear a Seat Belt and set a good example
If you or someone you know was injured in an automobile, motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian collision, contact the injury attorneys with Althauser Rayan Abbarno for a FREE Injury consultation in Olympia or Centralia. Call (360) 736-1301 or visit CentraliaLaw.com