Posted by: Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC
Wrestling a squirming child into a car seat or booster seat is no fun. And the ensuing complaints about being buckled in and unable to move freely are enough to make any drive no matter the distance a rather unpleasant experience.
But the reality is that Ohio’s roadways are dangerous—especially for children not properly buckled into a car seat or booster seat. According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, in 2016, 33 children died in motor vehicle crashes and a staggering 8,866 were injured.
If your child has been injured in a car accident because of the negligence of another, contact a veteran child injury accident lawyer today. Just like adults, children may be entitled to damages, making the road to recovery a little easier.
Call KNR at 1-800-HURT-NOW or use our online form to schedule a free, no-risk consultation.
What is Ohio’s Child Passenger Safety Law?
Under Ohio law, children less than four years old or 40 pounds must be in a child safety seat that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards. Children less than eight years old must use a booster seat unless they are at least 4-feet, 9-inches tall. Breaking Ohio’s child passenger safety law is not only unsafe, it is costly. If stopped for driving with an unrestrained child, drivers can be fined anywhere from $25 to $75.
Why Can’t Toddlers Just Wear a Seatbelt?
While seatbelts keep adults safe and secure in their seats, that is not the case when it comes to toddlers and young children. Seatbelts were designed specifically for the average-size adult and can actually put a child at a greater risk of serious injury because of this design.
A seatbelt combined with a booster seat is the best way to reduce the risk of injury because the booster seat gives the child enough height to allow the seatbelt to fit correctly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that using the booster seat/seatbelt combination reduces the risk of injury in a crash by 59 percent.
Hurdles to Buckling Up
The Center for Disease Control found that in one year, nearly 620,000 one- to 12-year-olds rode in vehicles while not properly secured by either a car seat, booster seat or seat belt. As parents or guardians of little ones, safety is a huge priority so what’s keeping Ohio drivers from properly buckling up child passengers?
Not Knowing the Law
The Ohio Child Safety Passenger law is relatively straight-forward but if you are unsure if your infant seat passes muster or whether it’s okay for your toddler to move into a booster seat, ask your pediatrician. If that’s not an option you can always call your local county health department for clarification.
Improperly Installed Car Seats and Booster Seats
Having child passengers in proper seats is important—having those seats installed properly could mean the difference between minor and life-threatening injuries. The bottom line is these special seats do not work if they are improperly installed. Many local fire departments offer free car seat inspections so if in doubt, have them check your seats out.
Inability to Afford a Car Seat or Booster Seat
Let’s face it, taking care of children is expensive and what is spent on infant seats and booster seats can add up. But you simply cannot ignore Ohio car seat and booster seat laws. Many county health departments offer assistance to those who cannot afford a new infant or booster seats, which saves drivers the cost of fines and keeps Ohio children safe on the road.
>What to Do If Your Child Was Hurt in a Crash
When a child is injured in a car crash, it is especially challenging from a legal perspective. The long-term effects of their injuries could last well into adulthood and you’ll need help getting all the resources you may need for the years to come.