Should a Car Seat Be Replaced After an Accident

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Should a Car Seat Be Replaced After an Accident

Unfortunately, car accidents do happen. Statistically, every 60 seconds 13 car accidents occur in the United States. Various measures and лlaws are being taken to prevent accidents and reduce the number of victims. Therefore, using a child infant seat is a must. It keeps your child safe during the trip and protects them during an accident.

But if you do get into an accident, there are some rules about how to proceed with car seats. This article will cover situations where you should replace the car seat and when you can continue to use it.

Do You Need to Replacement Car Seat After a Crash

The NHTSA previously recommended that the car seat be replaced after every crash, regardless of the accident severity.

However, this measure led to an increase in the number of cases where children were in cars without car seats because of the time it took for parents to replace them with a new car seat. In addition, the costs to consumers and insurance companies increased. Therefore, the NHTSA decided to reconsider the mandatory replacement requirement.

Although NHTSA requirements allow for situations where the car seat can continue to be used, some car seat manufacturers still require the replacement of the car seat after any accident.

NHTSA’s policy on replacing child restraints after minor vehicle crashes:

  • NHTSA recommends replacing child seats and boosters moderate or severe crash following a in forder to ensure a continued high level of crash protection for child passengers.
  • Also recommends that child seats do not automatically need to be replaced following a minor crash

The requirements for replacing car seats after an accident can be found in your car seat manufacturer’s instructions. If the manufacturer’s instructions went missing, contact the car seat manufacturer directly.

When Is it necessary to replace a child car seat

Under the new NHTSA requirements, if you are involved in a moderate or minor car accident, a child car seat replacement may not be required if your case fully corresponds to the following points:

  • The car was moved from the crash site of the collision by you.
  • The vehicle door nearest to the child seat received no crash damage. The nearest door is either the second row or the back door if your automobile has three rows of seats and the car seat was fitted on the third one.
  • No one inside the vehicle sustained any injuries.
  • No air bags in the car went off. Front airbags, side airbags, seat belt airbags, seat side airbags, and knee airbags are among them.
  • There is no visible damage. No stress marks, broken stitching, stretched webbing, fractures, wrinkles, or broken pieces on the restraint.

What if a Car Seat Was Empty in the Event of a Car Accident

Even if the child was not in the car seat at the time of the car accident, it can still be affected. Wrecks may result from the vehicle to experience crash forces of the car seat moving forward while being restrained by the lower anchor strap or tether strap. They might not be apparent, but if you are in another collision, they might prevent the car seat from fulfilling its duty in the event of a future crash. As the result, such child car seats’ failure may lead to serious injury.

In such cases, the same requirements apply for minor crashes as well as severe crashes.

When Must You Replace a Car Seat After a Crash

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If you are involved in a moderate or severe crash, the child car seat after a crash should be replaced without reservation anyway. Even there’s no noticeable damage, it’s still required to replace car seats.

If it was a minor crash but the vehicle had to be evacuated from the crash site, the car seat must be replaced.

Also, if the car accident does not meet at least one of the above points, the child’s car seat must be replaced.

Also, if you’re wondering how long child car seats last. You can find out about it here.

What’ if You Have More Than One Car Seats in Your Vehicle

It’s quite often when there’re more than one child’s restraints. For instance, an infant restraint and a booster seat in the vehicle. After a car crash, the seat nearest to the damaged vehicle door is to be replaced if the accident was moderate or severe. If the accident was minor the same rules apply. The above-mentioned criteria must be met.

For the cases when child car seat manufacturer requires replacement after accidents even a minor one, then you must follow the requirements.

Post- crash instructions are usually specified in the manuals. If a manual went missing, search for the car seat manufacturers guidelines for your specific car seat over the internet or contact the manufacturer.

What Will Your Insurance Company Do for Your Car Seat After an Accident

Upon your car accident claim approval, you may seek compensation for the purchase of a new seat. The majority of car insurance companies will cover the entire cost of your child’s car seat in the event of a crash, no questions asked.

Normally, they don’t insist that you buy the new seat of the model or level. For instance, if your child soon outgrows the infant car seat, the insurance company allows you to buy a convertible instead. But policies vary from company to company.

Известны случаи, когда компании отказывали в страховом возмещении на замену автокресла после автомобильных аварий. В таких случаях вы можете подкрепить иск о ДТП, обжаловав требования закона о наличии безопасных автомобильных сидений. Поэтому страховые компании должны оплатить полную стоимость нового детского автокресла, если необходима его замена.

On occasion, insurers will request that you submit proof from the manufacturer, such as the car seat instructions or a letter from the manufacturer stating that the child seat must be replaced post-crash.

Is It Possible to Get Your Child’s Safety Seat Inspected

Because vehicle crashes do not always cause visible damage, no one can examine your car seat and verify its safety after a crash. There are no professionals at the fire station or police department who can also confirm whether the accident damaged the seat.

What to Do With the Old Child Restraint After Replacing It

After replacing a damaged car seat after a crash, you must turn it in for recycling. There are special recycling programs, but unfortunately, they do not work everywhere. You can find out about these programs online or from the manufacturer.

If you live in a city that does not have child restraints recycling facilities, then you will have to throw it in the trash. However, there are rules, too. Before disposing of the car seat regardless of whether it’s a booster, convertible, or infant car seat you need to make sure that the seat will not be used again. One option is to cut lower anchor strap, etc.

To Sum Up

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The rules for replacing child safety seats have changed. In the past, it was necessary to replace the seat after a crash of varying difficulty, whether it was a minor or a severe crash. Now it is allowed to continue to use the seat. They are valid for infant restraint as well as for convertible and booster seats.

The seat must also be replaced, even if the child was not in the seat at the time of the crash. The damage may not be noticeable. For example, at the moment of an accident, the vehicles will experience crash forces that may lead to the car seat moving forward and the straps being stretched. As a consequence, they will not be able to perform their function properly. This, in turn, can lead to serious injuries if you are involved in an accident again. And as you know a damaged seat must be replaced.

If a manufacturer claims a car safety chair must be replaced after any accident, then you have to follow their guidelines regardless of how severe the crash was.

Do not neglect safety measures related to child restraints as they carry a very precious value. Following the safety precautions, you may protect your children from getting injured in the event of an accident.

Alice Brooks

Hi!!!My name is Alice Brooks. Here I share my observations and conclusions from my experience and the experience of my friends. First of all, I pay attention to safety and only then to trends. I want to help other parents to choose the right product.

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