With the technology of today’s car getting more and more sophisticated a motor vehicle crash can end up being a major cost and a time consuming process. But there is one part of a repair that is easy to do and takes less than an hour.
Car Seat Replacement
After a major crash, your child’s car seat needs replacing! While it may look safe and undamaged, odds are that it sustained hidden stress and strain while keeping the child safe and unharmed. The car seat did its job, so now you as a parent (or grandparent) needs to do the right thing and get a new car seat for your youngster.
This week, September 23-29, 2018, is Child Passenger Safety Week and several companies are helping to get the message out that after a crash, you need to replace the child car seat.
Car Seat Spokesperson
Spokesperson Shannon Spake, from Fox Sports, noted “when your car is involved in a crash, it’s just as important that you take care of your car seat or booster seat as it is to address the car damage.”
Evenflo, a major car seat manufacturer, stresses that even though the seat may look undamaged, it may no longer be usable and safe to save a child in future impacts. This is clearly a case if being “better safe, than sorry.”
Car repair shops, like the nationwide CARSTAR network, commits to reminding car owners that the seats should be replaced and are often covered under the insurance policies.
Obviously not all fender benders would necessitate a replacement, so the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) advises car seats do not need replacement if the car was in a minor crash.
Minor Crash Defined
NHTSA further defines a minor crash as
- The vehicle was able to be driven away from the crash site
- The vehicle door nearest the car seat was not damaged
- None of the passengers in the vehicle sustained any injuries in the crash
- If the vehicle has air bags, the air bags did not deploy during the crash
- There is no visible damage to the car seat
Also just because the car seat was unoccupied during the crash does not mean it can be used again! It likely still suffered stress and strain even without a child in the seat.
Shannon Spake Spokesperson
After all as Spake notes, “You always want to make sure your children are protected in the car.”
When replacing the car seat, send it to a recycling center and never give it away or offer it to a charitable group for reuse. Plus don’t forget to register your new seat with manufacturer in case of future safety recalls. If the new seat is different, you may seek out help to ensure it is installed correctly.
So when in doubt, throw it out!