Car seats can go a long way toward protecting your kids in the event of a car accident, when used correctly. When compared to seat belt use alone, car seat use reduces the risk for injury in a crash by up to 82% for children. However, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 46% of car seats and booster seats are used incorrectly.
Car Seat Facts
Get the information you need to become car seat-savvy — it just might save a life. Here’s what you need to know to ensure you aren’t inadvertently putting your child in danger when you hit the road.
Buying a Used Car Seat Is Too Risky
It may be tempting to save a little money by buying a secondhand car seat, but you can't be completely sure of a secondhand car seat's history as a buyer. This can include whether it has been involved in a crash, its expiration date as set by the car seat manufacturer or its recall status.
Car Seat Damage Isn’t Always Visible
Any car seat that has been involved in a car wreck is no longer considered safe to use. Even if the seat appears to be in good condition, replacement is still recommended as the force of the crash could have stressed the seat’s components in ways that aren’t visible.
The Type of Seat You Need Depends on Many Factors
Between rear-facing and backless boosters, most parents are left wondering how to choose a car seat. To determine when to upgrade your car seat, you can utilize the NHTSA Car Seat Finder, which will analyze your child’s age, height and weight to recommend the safest car seat options.
Car Seats Have an Expiration Date
Most car seats last between six and 10 years, but car seat expiration dates vary by manufacturer. The expiration date is often printed on the seat itself or listed in the seat’s instruction manual. Expired seats are typically not covered by insurance, so it is important to know when to get your car seat replaced.
Installation Matters More Than Brand or Cost
There’s a false sense of security that often comes with purchasing the most expensive car seat on the market. If you don’t use the seat properly, those high-end safety features may be all for nothing. Whether you’ve just installed a car seat or need help using one, assistance is available at car seat inspection stations. Certified technicians may be able to inspect your car seat free of charge and show you how to correctly install and use it.
Protect Your Greatest Treasures
As a parent, the safety of your child is always your top priority. When the unexpected happens, you don’t want to be caught thinking about the things you could have done to protect what matters most in your world. Talk to a Farm Bureau agent today to see how we can help you safeguard the future.