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Driving Children Without Proper Use of Child Safety Seats

Posted on July 19, 2017

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 600 U.S. children ages 12 and younger died in 2015 in car accidents — 35 percent of those children were not buckled up when the accident occurred. Additionally, more than 121,000 children were injured in 2014. At least some of those fatalities and injuries could have been prevented in cases where the children weren’t buckled up. In fact, one study found that 618,000 children (between 0 and 12 years old) rode in cars at least some of the time without using a child safety seat, booster seat or seatbelt.

The CDC also found that a child’s restraint use often mirrors the driver’s seat belt use. Almost 40 percent of children who ride with unrestrained drivers are unrestrained themselves. Moreover, almost half of car seats and booster seats are not used correctly.

Recent Accident Where Child Safety Seat Wasn’t Used Properly

A 9-month-old baby was killed in a car crash in McIntosh County in early April. There are conflicting reports regarding the use of a child safety seat and whether it was properly installed. According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the driver of the car was not wearing a seatbelt and the child safety seat was not in use. But a family member says that the baby was in a child seat but that it and the infant were ejected when the car ran off the road and struck several trees. Highway patrol officials say that the seat was not installed properly and that the baby was pronounced dead at the scene.

Oklahoma follows a contributory negligence standard, which means that a plaintiff whose own negligence contributed to his or her injuries will have their damages reduced proportionately when awarded compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. In this case, had there been another car involved in the accident the second driver could have argued that the first driver was negligent in not wearing a seatbelt or properly restraining the infant. That would likely reduce the number of damages the first driver could recover.

Reach Out to Us Today

Contact the law office of Charles Bryan Alred, P.C., today if you are injured in a car accident. We will help you recover compensation for your injuries and, if the responsible party alleges contributory negligence, we will mount an effective defense to help you recover the maximum amount of possible damages.