To keep the young ones in your family safe on the road, you should always strap them into a car seat or booster seat. New York law also requires all children under the age of 8 to be in a size- and weight-appropriate restraint.
Because money may be tight after a car accident, you may wonder if you need to replace your child’s car seat. If your accident was minor, you can probably still use the car seat without endangering your son or daughter. Answering a few questions should help you determine if your crash was minor.
Did anyone suffer an injury?
Because car accident injuries may not show up right away, you and your passengers should undergo a full medical evaluation immediately after the accident. If anyone in your vehicle sustained any type of injury, you should replace your child’s car seat.
Was your car drivable?
After a minor crash, you may be able to drive your car away from the scene. If your car needs a tow truck or its airbags deploy, it is critical to purchase a new restraint for your child.
Was there vehicle damage near your child’s car seat?
If the accident damaged the car door or body panel closest to your child’s car seat, the seat may no longer offer adequate protection for your child. Consequently, unless vehicle damage was far from the seat’s position, you should discard the seat immediately.
Does the car seat have damage?
Regardless of your answers to the above questions, you must inspect your child’s car seat before continuing to use it. If you notice any signs of damage, do not continue to use the seat. Then, dispose of the seat according to its manufacturer’s instructions to be certain it does not endanger any other child.