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Preventing Child Injuries and Death in Motor Vehicle Accidents

In New Jersey, children under 80 pounds or under 8 years old must ride in a child seat. Using a child safety seat greatly reduces the risk of death and protects children from injuries in the event of a crash. Parents and caregivers have the responsibility of ensuring children are in a child safety seat whenever they ride in a car.

According to recent statistics published by the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than a third of children under 13 years old who died in passenger vehicle crashes were not in car seats or not wearing seatbelts. Unfortunately, motor vehicle crashes remain a leading cause of death for children. On average, two children are killed and 338 are injured every day while riding in vehicles. The larger the vehicle, the more likely it is that a child who was killed was not wearing a seatbelt or was not in a car seat.

The NHTSA estimates that approximately 10,000 lives were saved by child restraints from 1975 through 2011 and offers the following tips for keeping children safe:

  • Make sure the child seat is suitable for your child’s age and size.
  • Set a good example by always wearing your seatbelt.
  • Visit SaferCar.gov/TheRightSeat to determine whether your child is in the right seat and to locate a car seat check event in your area. You can also register your car seat on the same site, so that you are notified of any recalls.
  • Have the child seat checked by a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician approved by the NHTSA.
  • Carefully read the instructions and labels that come with your child’s car seat.
  • Consult your vehicle owners manual for information about installing the seat properly in your vehicle.
  • Use the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) restraint system or seatbelt to install the car seat and use the top tether to secure forward-facing car seats.

Despite all precautions, parents cannot always protect their children from harm. Distracted, aggressive and intoxicated drivers are a constant threat to people on our nation’s roadways. If your child was injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident, contact experienced New Jersey attorneys who can fight for the compensation you and your child deserve. 

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