As a personal injury lawyer in South Carolina , it always amazes me that there are still parents out there who neglect to strap their child into a car safety seat when they hit the road. A recent study from the NHTSA provides undisputable evidence that children who are placed in car seats are much safer. According to this study , 85% of infants under 1 year old were secured in a car seat during a car accident .
However, older children in the 4-7 year-old range were much less likely to be properly secured with less than a quarter riding in safety seats. Only half of them were wearing seat belts which can actually cause harm to a young child if they aren't paired with a booster seat to help the safety belt fit properly. "Regardless of where children were seated in the vehicle back seat and what type of crash took place, they were more likely to suffer incapacitating injuries if they were not restrained in a car seat," claims the study which evaluated car accident data from the last 10 years.
In rollover accidents, children that were not secured in a car seat were 3 times more likely to experience incapacitating injuries. When a car is struck on the same side that a child is seated on, they are eight times more likely to have an incapacitating injury if not secured. Brain injury is very common in car accidents and often won't show it's effects until later in the child's development. Keep in mind that even if your child is 13 years old and using a seat belt, they are half as likely to be seriously injured if seated in the back seat.