Car crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages three to fourteen in the United States. In Arizona, children under the age of two are required to use rear-facing car seats, which better protect the child’s back, head, and neck. After the age of two, children are allowed to be repositioned to a forward-facing car seat. There is a common misconception regarding car seat safety. Children cannot just be placed in a car seat to ensure their safety; their car seats have to be properly installed. According to data from the AAA Arizona and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 50% of car seats in Arizona are not installed properly. Ensuring that the harness straps are placed correctly, placing the seatbelt through the correct slots, and securing the chest clip properly are many of the procedures that are required in order to properly install a child seat. It is imperative an emphasis be placed on car seat education in order to combat this issue.
Many families struggle to afford car seats. The average price of a car seat can range anywhere from $100 to $500. Many car seats are closer to the latter of that price range. This puts many lower income families at a disadvantage. Lower income families are forced to put a price tag on their child’s safety. Although all car seats pass the same safety standards, they vary in quality and user accessibility.
The Tucson Medical Center plans on utilizing a $25,000 grant that they received from the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to raise awareness and educate citizens on car seat safety. They will also provide 400 to 500 car seats for low-income families contingent on whether they participate in the car seat education program that the medical center hosts. The program which educates parents about car seat safety, is just one of the many initiatives that are being put in place to promote child passenger safety.
Police in Arizona are also trying to move away from solely fining individuals for car seat violations in hopes to improve car seat safety education. Now, if someone receives a citation for a car seat violation, they can attend a course called Children are Priceless Passengers, which teaches citizens about proper child passenger safety. City of Maricopa Fire/Medical Department also offers appointments to perform car seat inspections and installations.
Properly utilizing car seats is imperative to keep children safe. If you or someone you know has a child that has been injured in a car crash, an Arizona lawyer may be able to help.
- Mendoza, K. (2021, November 22). Car seat safety a continuing focus for Tucson groups. Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved December 7, 2021, from https://tucson.com/news/local/car-seat-safety-a-continuing-focus-for-tucson-groups/article_e3171808-47fa-11ec-87e3-cbd50b5b4319.html.
- MFD Safety Tips: Car Seat. MFD Safety Tips: Car Seat | Maricopa, AZ. (n.d.). Retrieved December 7, 2021, from https://www.maricopa-az.gov/departments/fire-and-medical-department/community-services/safety-tips/car-seat.