consult
X

Request a Free Consultation

Please fill out the form below and we will be in touch soon.
  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY

Blog Home

Florida Parents: Why Having the Right Car Seat Is So Important
Posted By:

, Florida Parents: Why Having the Right Car Seat Is So Important

 

The State of Florida says all children under the age of five are required to be harnessed in a car seat during travel in motor vehicles. Sounds simple, right? But it’s not.

 

In fact, Florida traffic laws have an entire section dedicated to child restraint requirements in a motor vehicle, and every car seat must be crash-tested and federally approved. Despite this, CDC records still show nearly 129,000 children under the age of 12 were either injured or died in car crashes in 2016 alone.

 

This is because laws can’t prevent every accident or injury – much of the responsibility remains with you. So, in today’s post, we’re going to share some advice and statistics regarding car seat types, positioning, and use so that you can make a more informed decision for your family.

 

Car Seats and Child Physical Development

 

Having and using the right car seat can prevent your child from suffering serious injury or death in an auto accident. What does the “right” car seat mean?

 

There are three different types of car seats to accommodate the developmental stages of your child’s life. Apart from the common protective features, each one has its own set of modifications to ensure the safety of your most precious cargo based on their age, height, and weight.

 

Infant Car Seat

 

By far the biggest difference between infant restraints and those for bigger children is that infant seats are designed to be rear-facing. Why? Because rear-facing seats protect newborns’ and infants’ heads, necks, and spines by distributing crash forces across the shell of the car seat (instead of your baby’s body).

 

Children under 2 simply don’t have the physical strength to withstand the forces of a crash, and turning the seat too early can result in spinal cord, neck, or brain injuries – even in a relatively minor event like a sudden stop.

 

Convertible Car Seat

 

This one is designed to accommodate rear-facing for infants, then transition to a forward-facing seat once your child has exceeded height and weight limits for rear positioning.

 

Note: your child will likely be in this seat the longest. Choose a seat with modifications such as adjustable head and foot rests for maximum comfort as they grow.

 

Booster Seat

 

One great indicator that your child is ready for a booster seat is when they’ve outgrown the convertible seat, but their knees do not bend at the edge of the regular backseat cushion when they are sitting with their back pressed against the vehicle seat.

 

Once you’ve chosen your best option, the next most important aspect of having the right car seat is proper installation.

 

Safe Installation in Your Vehicle

 

USA Today’s Florida edition reports that properly installing a car seat decreases the risk of a child’s death or injury by 70 percent. However, the CDC estimates 59 percent of car seats are being misused.

 

How crazy is that?

 

What can you do to make sure your seat is correctly installed? Once you’ve followed installation instructions, you should have a certified professional double check that everything looks correct. Only certified car seat technicians are legally allowed to inspect your car seat or offer instructions on how to install.

 

Typically, you can (and have to) stop into your local fire or police station and find someone on duty with the proper certification, or perform a CPS Technician Search online.

 

When Florida Parents Have Multiple Young Children

 

The middle of the back seat is the absolute safest location in the vehicle. Whenever possible, your child’s car seat should be installed there. However, when multiple children are riding in the car, that’s not always an option.

 

One rule of thumb is to always place your most vulnerable child (usually the youngest) in the center of the vehicle. After that, though, there is no statistical data showing a best position for additional car seats.

 

There are several individual factors you should consider – type of vehicle, behavior of other children, type of car seats, and so on. Many believe passenger side is next safest so as to avoid street traffic when removing the child from the vehicle.

 

Whatever you do, never place any car seat in front of an airbag (front seat) – they can kill a young child upon impact.

 

Fort Lauderdale Child Accident Lawyer

 

Using the right car seat obviously isn’t a guarantee that your children will now be 100 percent safe, but it should help you to rest a bit easier when out on the road.

 

 

About the Author:

 

Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.

 

 

Categories
AWARDS & MEMBERSHIPS

AWARDS & MEMBERSHIPS

, Florida Parents: Why Having the Right Car Seat Is So Important

AMERICAS TOP 100 HIGH STAKES LITIGATORS

2018

Selection to America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators® is by invitation only and is comprised of the nation’s most exceptional trial lawyers for high stakes legal matters. For initial consideration, an attorney must have successfully litigated (for either plaintiff or defendant) a matter (1) with at least $2,000,000 in alleged damages at stake or (2) with the fate of a business worth at least $2,000,000 at stake (i.e. bet-the-company litigation valued in excess of $2,000,000).

AWARDS & MEMBERSHIPS

, Florida Parents: Why Having the Right Car Seat Is So Important

LEAD COUNSEL

LEAD COUNSEL
RATED

Since 1997, the Lead Counsel Rating has been available for free to attorneys who have demonstrated the following three requirements:

Professional Experience
Peer Recommendations
Spotless Record

AWARDS & MEMBERSHIPS

, Florida Parents: Why Having the Right Car Seat Is So Important

LAWYERS OF DISTINCTION

LAWYERS OF
DISTINCTION

Lawyers of Distinction members have been selected based upon a review and vetting process from our Selection Committee. After a thorough review of credentials, attorneys are nominated by our Selection Committee. Lawyers do not pay for this nomination. These potential candidates who meet the criteria of our screening process have demonstrated a high degree of peer recognition and professional competence

AWARDS & MEMBERSHIPS

, Florida Parents: Why Having the Right Car Seat Is So Important

MILLION DOLLAR ADVOCATES FORUM
LIFETIME MEMBER

THE TOP TRIAL LAWYERS IN AMERICA ®

ONE OF THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS GROUPS OF TRIAL LAWYERS IN THE UNITED STATES. MEMBERSHIP IS LIMITED TO ATTORNEYS WHO HAVE WON MILLION AND MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR VERDICTS AND SETTLEMENTS.

AWARDS & MEMBERSHIPS

, Florida Parents: Why Having the Right Car Seat Is So Important

FLORIDA TREND’S

FLORIDA LEGAL ELITE
2011-2017

Now in its 13th year, Florida Legal Elite presents a prestigious roster of attorneys chosen for recognition by their peers.

AWARDS & MEMBERSHIPS

, Florida Parents: Why Having the Right Car Seat Is So Important

EXPERTISE

BEST PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS IN FORT LAUDERDALE
2016-2019

Our goal is to be a hub where qualified experts can connect with people to share their knowledge, experience, and skills.

AWARDS & MEMBERSHIPS

, Florida Parents: Why Having the Right Car Seat Is So Important

SUPER LAWYERS

TOP RATED PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER IN DAVIE FL
2011-2019

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

AWARDS & MEMBERSHIPS

, Florida Parents: Why Having the Right Car Seat Is So Important

SUPER LAWYERS TOP 100 FLORIDA LAWYERS

FLORIDA TOP 100 LAWYERS
2015-2017, 2019

Super Lawyers magazine features the list and profiles of selected attorneys and is distributed to attorneys in the state or region and the ABA-approved law school libraries.

AWARDS & MEMBERSHIPS

, Florida Parents: Why Having the Right Car Seat Is So Important

AVVO

TOP ATTORNEY PERSONAL INJURY
10.00
SUPERB

Avvo was founded in Seattle, Washington by tech-savvy lawyer Mark Britton to make legal easier and help people find a lawyer.

REVIEWS

LEAVE US A REVIEW

CASE RESULTS

See More Results

Font Resize