If you are a parent, you probably already know how dangerous your car can be for the young ones in your family. After all, according to reporting from U.S. News and World Report, motor vehicle accidents account for roughly 20% of all child fatalities in the country.
You may not realize, though, that your car’s seatbacks may put your kids in extreme danger even during mild and moderate accidents. This is because the internal mechanisms inside your car’s front seats may be too weak to keep them upright.
An archaic safety standard
Automobile manufacturers in the U.S. must comply with hundreds of safety rules. These rules govern everything from airbag deployment to emissions. The safety standard for seatbacks, though, is from the 1960s. This archaic safety standard allows some automakers to save money by manufacturing vehicles with weak seatbacks.
An immediate danger to young children
For decades, safety advisors have told parents to put their kids in height- and weight-appropriate car seats in the rear of their vehicles. While the backseat is probably the safest place for your young passengers to ride, a seatback collapse poses an immediate danger to infants, toddlers and small children.
Specifically, if your car’s front seats fail during a motor vehicle accident, they may collapse onto a child who is sitting in the back. If you are in the front seat, of course, the combined weight of your body and your car’s front seat may crush your son or daughter.
Ultimately, until automakers take steps to strengthen front seats, parents of injured children may have solid grounds to pursue substantial financial compensation.