Research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that in the United States during 2014, 602 children ages 12 and younger died in auto crashes and more than 121,350 were injured. Of those 602 deaths, 34% of the children that died were not properly buckled up. In any given year, more than 618,000 children ages 0-12 ride in a vehicle without a safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt.
The use of car seats can reduce the risk of death for infants by 71% and 54% for toddlers. There is no excuse to not have your child in a proper car set, and failure to do so is against the law.
Child Safety Seats are required by Law in New Mexico
Most states have specific laws for child safety seats. In New Mexico, the rules vary according to the child’s age. According to the New Mexico DMV, the following rules apply:
- Under 1 year old: child must be secured in an approved rear-facing seat in the back seat of the car
- Between 1 and 5 and those weighing under 40 pounds: must be properly secured in an approved safety seat
- Between 5 and 6 and those weighing under 60 pounds: must be secured in a booster or other approved car seat
- Between 6 and 12: may be secured in a booster or car seat, or with a seat belt
In the state of New Mexico, failure to have your child properly secured could result in a fine and points against your license.
Selecting the Safest Seat
There are 4 types of car seats: rear facing, forward facing, booster, and seat belt. Safercar.gov has descriptive information for each type of seat with detailed instructions on how to properly install the car seat. The website even has a helpful Car Seat Finder where you can put in information about your child to search for the right seat. The Seat Finder not only tells you what type of seat is appropriate for your child, but also lists seats with consumer ratings.
Car Seats After a Crash
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHSTA) recommends that car seats be replaced following a moderate or severe crash, regardless of whether or not your child was using the seat at the time of the rash. If you have questions or concerns about whether or not a car seat should be replaced, NHSTA recommends that you call the manufacturer.
If you were involved in an accident and your child’s car seat was damaged, the liability insurance will likely be responsible for the replacement cost of the car seat as part of your property damage claim.
If you were involved in a car accident with your child in the vehicle remember to follow these steps and seek medical attention immediately. Fortunately, car seats do save lives, but even if you child seems ok after an accident, it is important to get them checked out immediately. At Keller & Keller, we are invested in your safety and in helping the victims of serious injury recover for their injuries. Don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.