The most precious cargo any of us carry in our cars is our children. Some of the hardest cases personal injury lawyers ever have to handle are those that involve an accident injury or wrongful death of a child. We’ve never found a settlement amount high enough to comfort a grieving parent. Even parents who expect to see their child fully recover from a personal injury accident will never truly overcome the new and constant worry the catastrophe instilled in them.
It takes only an instant for your world to be turned upside down by a car accident. Vehicle crashes are the No. 1 killer of kids in the United States. Gone are the days of riding in a car with a baby or toddler on your lap. Why, in 2011, with all of our progress in vehicle safety technology and restraint systems, are car accidents the greatest personal injury risk to our little ones? Safercar.gov, an educational website created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), says 7 out of 10 kids are not properly buckled in when they’re riding in a car.
Yes, there are child restraint laws in every state. No, we never see a kid riding in a car unbuckled.
And there’s the rub. No parent intends to put a child at risk. Most kids are, in fact, buckled in. Securing your child in a proper safety seat or booster decreases their risk of personal injury in a car accident by 60%. However, if the seat isn’t installed correctly, their risk of injury is not decreased. NHTSA studies found that 3 out of 4 car seats are not installed correctly.
New moms, hurried dads, inexperienced aunts or well-intended grandparents could be responsible for taking a risk with their young passengers that they didn’t know was there. It can be confusing and frustrating to deal with a squirmy baby, manufacturer installed seat belts and also the seat belts attached to the additional child safety seat. But a little education goes a long way. NHTSA provides thorough and up-to-date information about child safety seats, including 5-Star “Ease of Use” ratings. Additionally, a number of organizations right here in Chattanooga and surrounding areas offer free inspections of your child’s safety seat. A certified child passenger safety technician will make sure your seat is installed correctly and that it is sturdy and appropriate for the size of your child.
Moms and dads who want assistance with child safety seats and live in the counties of Bledsoe, Bradley, Coffee, Franklin, Grundy, Hamilton, Marion, McMinn, Meigs Polk, Rhea and Sequatchie can contact Lt. Jeff Mosely for more information about setting up seat check appointments.
Tennessee Highway Patrol
4120 Cummings Highway, Chattanooga, TN 37419
For child safety seat checkpoints in Bradley, Franklin, Hamilton and Polk Counties, as well as North Georgia, contact Cindy Jackson via the information below.
Safe & Sound/T.C Thompson Children’s Hospital
910 Blackford Street, Chattanooga, TN 37403
Families in Hamilton County are also invited to contact two additional points of contact for safety seat installation checks in the immediate Chattanooga area:
Contact: Christy Smith
Hamilton County Health Department
921 East Third Street, Chattanooga, TN 37403
Phone: 423-209-8200 OR 423-209-8204
Contact: Becky Campbell or Lieutenant Charles Lowery, Jr.
Hamilton County Sheriff
8395 Hickory Valley Road, Chattanooga, TN 37416
Phone: 423-893-3503 (press option 3)
Even if your children have left the nest, you can help protect others from a serious personal injury. If you know a mom who is expecting for the first time, a dad who drives the kids to preschool every morning, or even a seasoned parent who’s still using a child safety seat from 1975, please share the information in this blog. You may reach someone who takes it to heart, learns the right way to install their safety seat and then passes that knowledge on for generations to come.