Maryland Car Accident Lawyers Discuss Safe Use of Car Seats During Winter

Winter has officially begun, and if you are a parent, you want to know your little ones are protected from the elements. This typically involves bundling the kids up with heavy coats and scarves before going outside. However, the same coat that protects your child from the cold may also put him or her at an increased risk of serious injury in the event of a car accident.

Puffy coats and snowsuits are bulky, so to make your child fit comfortably, you most likely have to loosen the straps on their car seat. It may appear that your child is strapped in snugly, but the straps are actually dangerously loose. In the event of a crash, the jacket material will compress, creating an unsafe space for your child’s body to move.

Official crash tests out of Michigan illustrate the potential dangers of combining winter coats with car seats. Crash test video shows a child-sized dummy wearing a puffy winter coat and strapped into a car seat. The child appears to be secure, but at a simulated crash speed of only 30 miles per hour, the child is thrown violently from the car seat. When the same test was repeated without the coat and the dummy properly harnessed, the child remained safely secured during the crash.

Safety experts recommend removing your child’s coat before putting them in their car seat. Adjust the straps so that they lay snugly against their body with no room to pinch any excess webbing. The chest clip should be fastened at armpit level. If you are concerned that your child might get cold, cover him with a jacket or warm blanket.

Be advised that any material that comes between the child and the car seat could potentially increase the risk of injury in the event of a wreck. This includes special inserts commonly used in infant car seats during the winter. The insert lies behind the child and then zips up over them after the seat is buckled. While these products are marketed as safe, the extra padding behind the child creates added space similar to that of a heavy coat and are therefore not recommended.

Baltimore Personal Injury Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton are Committed to Keeping Children Safe in the Event of a Car Accident

If your child has been injured in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence, contact LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton today. Our Maryland car accident lawyers will thoroughly review the facts of your case to determine who is responsible for your child’s injuries so that we can hold them accountable. To schedule your free consultation, submit an online contact form or call 800-547-4LAW (4529). A qualified member of our legal team is available to take your call 24 hours a day.