Researchers at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center have found that when used correctly, rear-facing car seats were all effective because they absorbed crash forces while controlling the motion of the child. According to a CBS News report, researchers say, in a car accident, the crash forces are going to be transferred from the shell of the car seat into the vehicle seat and into the vehicle, which keeps crash energy from the occupant, in this case, a child. The test was performed on multiple rear-facing seats with crash test dummies.
Car Seats Save Lives
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents keep their toddlers in rear-facing seats until they are 2 or until they reach the maximum height or weight allowed by the manufacturer. Researchers who conducted this study found that the rear-facing seat does a really good job of keeping the head, neck and spine supported. These areas of the body are quite vulnerable in newborns and infants whose spine and vertebrae have not fused and fully developed. The results of this study were published in the journal SAE International.
The CBS article cites as an example, the case of Heather Hope, who in 2016, was driving with her 16-month-old daughter when another vehicle struck and flipped her car. Hope was killed, but her daughter, who was strapped in a rear-facing car seat, survived with minor injuries. Hope had been careful in picking out a safe car seat for her daughter, family members. That, they said, might have saved the young girl’s life.
Children and Car Accidents
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 663 children ages 12 and younger died as occupants in auto accidents during 2015 and more than 121, 350 were injured in 2014. One CDC study found that, in one year, more than 618,000 children ages 0112 rode in vehicles without the use of a child safety seat or booster seat or a seatbelt at least some of the time. Of the children ages 12 and under who died in a crash in 2015, 35 percent were not buckled up. There are also a significant number of instances where car seats are not installed properly, which leads to tragic deaths and catastrophic injuries for children.
If you have a child or care for a child, be sure to ensure they are restrained for each and every vehicle trip, even if it’s only a short drive to the neighborhood supermarket. Be wary of car seat recalls when you shop for one and as far as possible, do not buy these products used. If your child has been injured as the result of a defective car seat, contact an experienced product defect lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.