Washtenaw County parents are committed to keeping their kids safe. Poor decisions in the car can turn a fender bender into a serious injury accident for your little ones. But some simple steps will keep your kids safe wherever your car takes them.
Keep Kids Safe in the Back Seat
Dashboard airbags can be fatal for small children. The force of the explosion can cause bruises and even broken bones. And the airbag itself presents a choking hazard if it covers a child’s face. The best way to protect your kids is to have them sit in the back seat. Michigan law requires children under 4 years old to ride in the rear seat unless:
- The vehicle doesn’t have one; or
- All the rear seats are filled with children under 4 years of age.
If you do need to put a child in the front seat, turn off your passenger-side airbag. Some vehicles will automatically detect the weight of a passenger and turn the airbag off if the child is too light.
Use the Right Safety Seat for Your Child’s Size
There are 3 types of child safety seats. Which one is best for your kids depend on their size and weight.
- Rear-Facing Infant Seat: For the first 8-9 months, your baby should sit facing backward in the car. Rear-facing infant seats have harnesses and are designed to protect your baby’s neck and spine in an accident.
- Forward-Facing Car Seat: Once your baby is either too heavy or too long for a rear-facing infant seat, you should switch to a forward-facing car seat. Harnesses in these seats protect your child from flying forward in a crash.
- Booster Seat: As your child grows, you will need to transition from a car seat to a booster seat. This equipment is designed to lift your child to the proper height so the shoulder strap of the seat belt protects your child instead of cutting across his or her neck. Under Michigan law, children must use a booster seat until they are 8 years old or 4-feet-9-inches tall.
Minimize Distractions by Children
Distractions by children can take your mind off the road and result in distracted driving accidents. Consider using technology, snacks, or other tactics to minimize kid-caused distraction.
Recovering for Child Auto Accidents
If your child is injured in an auto accident, he or she will be covered by your auto insurance policy. You will be able to file a First Party claim to recover for your child’s medical expenses and attendant care. When doctors’ orders keep kids home from school, you may not be able to stay home with them. Medically therapeutic child care may be covered as a necessary expense related to your child’s auto accident injuries.
The auto accident attorneys at Christensen Law in Ann Arbor, Michigan, can help you protect your children and make sure their injuries are covered. If your child is injured in an auto accident, contact Christensen Law today for a free consultation.