Child Car Seat Dangers – is your child in the right car seat?

6th March 2015

Child Car Seat Dangers – is your child in the right car seat?

A recent survey by road safety campaign group Good Egg reported that two out of three parents are strapping children into wrongly fitted car seats.  

The figures were released shortly after the Department of Transport revealed the number of children killed or seriously injured in road accidents in Britain has risen for the first time in two decades.  Some have blamed a rise in purchasing seats on-line with no lessons in fitting the seat to blame. However, a Which? Survey in 2014 revealed nine out of ten shops, including well known high street stores, made potential lethal mistakes when demonstrating how to install baby and child seats.

Legislation currently going through Parliament will provide a new safer standard of child seat known as “i-size” to be used alongside existing laws.  A child will be required to travel in a rearward position until the age of 15 months and will provide better protection for head and neck.  A system based on the height rather than age of a child will give greater protection to young children.

All parents want the best for their children and to keep them safe.  But many parents do not realise the dangers to their children of using incorrectly or poorly fitted seats. There are also severe dangers caused by having items stored on the rear parcel shelf of a car which can fly off in an accident and cause severe injury to a passenger even if they are properly secured in a seat.

The failure to check that the child seat is appropriate and properly fitted can have other consequences too.  Usually where an accident is entirely caused by another driver you would not expect to be liable for any damage or injury suffered by yourself or your passengers.  However a recent case decided by the court demonstrates that extra caution is required where child seats are concerned. In this case the mother had strapped her 3 year old daughter into a booster seat rather than the forward facing child seat she had available.  The manufacturer’s instructions indicated that the child did not meet the age, height or weight criteria for the booster seat.  The car was involved in a collision with another vehicle. The accident was entirely the fault of the other driver but sadly the child suffered serious injuries and a claim was made for damages on behalf of the child.

At the trial it was admitted by the insurers on behalf of the driver that the accident was entirely his fault however they argued that, had the child been strapped into the appropriate child seat, the child’s injuries would have been much less severe.  They therefore claimed that the mother had been negligent and should have to pay 25% of the damages awarded to her daughter. The court agreed with this argument.

Regardless of the legal implications of this ruling, it is a salient reminder to all drivers that they must ensure that any child seat they use is appropriate for the particular child and to follow carefully the manufacturer’s instructions as to installation and suitability.

If you would like to speak to one of our personal injury team, please contact them on [email protected] or call 01473 211121. We have offices in Ipswich, Hadleigh and Felixstowe and will be available to meet you at either of these with prior arrangement.

Blog Posts

As families change, so too should your legal arrangements

03/08/2018

If ever there was a statistic that illustrated the changing family dynamic of 21st…

Read More
Upcoming Events

Gotelee Legal Walk

07/06/2018

Gotelee Solicitors are walking the Ipswich Legal Walk on behalf of the Eastern Legal…

Read More
News Posts

UK ranked fifth worst for workplace stress

16/08/2018

  Levels of workplace stress in the UK are among the highest in the…

Read More

Testimonials

"Approachable, very efficient, always willing to take my calls and update me."

- SH

"We were very pleased to have Jade as our solicitor, the service was excellent and we felt kept in the loop which minimised stress"

- CT

"I have used Tracey Laflin at Gotelee on a number of occasions and in my opinion, she is simply the most efficient conveyancing solicitor I have ever worked with. From the outset, she took the time to understand my specific business requirements and to date, she has exceeded all of my expectations."

- Dale Fiddy - Portobello Developments Ltd

"I don't think this house sale would have pulled together without Jo's determination and expertise. Excellent!"

- MT

"Jade Shelton was absolutely fantastic!! Professional and proactive at all times."

- JH

"This is by far the go-to firm for any issues. You are made to feel valued from the outset and they are so confident in what they do. Wouldn't recommend any other. Thank you Hugh and Max."

- Ros Jones

"Domini was very fast and efficient in carrying out her work for me - she was also very good at explaining things to me"

-

"Prompt, helpful, polite and very professional service"

-

"The ease that we could access and speak to Pat Smith - Thank you"

-

"We found Rachel Dawson outstanding, polite, professional and caring."

-

Please select preferred method of contact

* We will only contact you by telephone if you select this as primary form of contact.