As parents, you always want your children to be safe, especially when travelling in a car. However, two studies have revealed worrying statistics about the lack of knowledge among parents when it comes to in-car safety laws.
In this blog we discuss the importance of adhering to these laws, the risks involved, and how our expert solicitors can help you if you’ve been involved in a car accident in Northern Ireland that involved a child.
The Dangers of Ignorance: Parents Unaware of In-Car Safety Laws
According to one study, parents are unknowingly putting their children and other children at risk by not following in-car safety laws. The study, which surveyed 2,000 parents, found that 37% had driven with someone else’s child as a passenger without having a suitable child restraint. Furthermore, 57% admitted they did not carry a child car seat around on the off-chance they might need one, and 85% believed the Government should do more to raise awareness of in-car safety laws.
This lack of knowledge has led to more than one quarter of parents fearing that they have inadvertently broken regulations relating to travelling with children in vehicles. Over half (54%) are also worried they might inadvertently break in-car safety laws in the future.
The Consequences of Breaking the Law: Fines, Penalties, and Injuries
When it comes to transporting children without the proper car seat, parents are not only putting their children at risk but also breaking the law. A separate survey of 1,000 British parents of children aged 12 or under found that 1/3 had broken the law by transporting someone else’s child without a child seat. Drivers face fines as well as penalty points for using incorrect restraints.
The consequences of not using a proper car seat can be severe. In a 30mph collision, the injury sustained by a child weighing 8kg who gets thrown from a seat is similar to falling from a three-storey height. In 2017, almost 10,000 children aged 15 or under were injured while travelling in a car, with 20 killed, according to the Department for Transport.
Despite these alarming statistics, only 1/5 of parents polled by car manufacturer SEAT were confident about the rules regarding children and car seats. Many parents admitted to using a car seat designed for an older child or an incorrectly installed child seat.
Ensuring Your Child’s Safety: A Few Basic Rules
Javier Luzon, from the SEAT vehicle safety development department, emphasises the importance of using the correct car seat to reduce the risk of casualties and injuries. He advises parents to follow some basic rules:
- Choose the right seat: Use a car seat certified for your child’s height and weight, as each seat is designed to meet specific requirements to protect a child’s body.
- Install the seat correctly: 40% of parents worry they have not fitted a child seat correctly. Make sure to follow the installation instructions provided by the manufacturer.
- Avoid exceptions during short trips: Even for short distances, never place a child in a seat while they’re wearing a coat or backpack, as these can hinder the correct operation of the safety harness.
Expert Help for Your Personal Injury Claim: Paschal O’Hare Solicitors
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident in Northern Ireland that involved a child, our solicitors at Paschal O’Hare Personal Injury Solicitors are here to help. With over 50 years of experience in assisting clients with their injury claims, our compassionate experts will guide you through the process and ensure you receive the support you need.
Don’t let the lack of knowledge about in-car safety laws put your child or someone else’s child at risk. Be informed, follow the rules, and trust Paschal O’Hare Solicitors to help you with your personal injury claim.