Child Injury in Greenville: Whose Fault?

As we recently reported on our North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, child car seats are a hot topic of debate for safety advocates nationwide. They’ve been dinged for poor safety ratings, recalls, design and usability.

It’s commonly suggested that parents look into safety ratings and seat recommendations when buckling in small children. Some parents and guardians are saying that these car seats are too complicated though, and as a result are being installed incorrectly a majority of the time, according to The Wall Street Journal.
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According to recent studies, many parents and caregivers are making mistakes when installing the devices, increasing the risks of injury for small children in the event of a car accident in Greenville and elsewhere.

Our Greenville car accident attorneys understand that most child car seats use the LATCH, Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children, system. This system is supposed to make installing these car seats relatively simple by using standard hardware, but recent research is proving otherwise. Researchers with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) say that automakers aren’t doing their job when it comes to making these car seats easier to use.

The recent study looked at more than 20 of the 100 top selling passenger vehicles from the 2010 and the 2011 model year. The latch setups on these vehicles were tested after a number of groups raised concerns about the lack of user-friendliness of some of these latch systems. They’re just alarmingly difficult to buckle in, when buckles are even provided.

“Sometimes parents blame themselves when they struggle with latch, but oftentimes the problem lies with the vehicle, not the user,” said the IISH senior vice president, Anne McCartt.

According to the study’s results, anchors for these seats were only found in about 35 of the near 100 study vehicles. Only 7 of the near 100 have specific LATCH anchors in the middle of the second row of seats. That’s where children are safest when riding in a motor vehicle and are best protected in the event of an accident. Less than 10 vehicles allowed the borrowing of anchors from neighboring seats. More than 80 of the vehicles had no anchors at all. Of the more than 20 SUVs and minivans with three rows of seating, about 10 of them had no lower anchors at all!

During the study, researchers also concluded that parents used these anchors correctly only 60 percent of the time. Tethers were used in less than 50 percent of the installations and were only used correctly about 54 percent of the time. In conclusion, researchers determined that guardians, caregivers and parents were only installing these seats correctly, with the proper angle, less than 15 percent of the time.

Contact the South Carolina personal injury lawyers at Lee Law Offices, P.A. if you or your child has been injured or killed in an auto accident Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson or elsewhere in South Carolina. Our law firm offers free consultations to accident victims in both North and South Carolina. Call 1-800-887-1965 to speak to an injury lawyer today.

More Blog Entries:

Recalled Child Seats Increasing Risks for Injury in Car Accidents in North Carolina and Elsewhere
, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, February 10, 2012

New Website to Help Reduce Risks of Child Injury in Car Accidents in North Carolina, Nation, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, February 6, 2012

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