It is tragic, but true: Car accidents cause more fatalities and injuries to children than any other cause. However, in the state of Florida, a new law will go into effect at the beginning of 2015 that will hopefully help significantly reduce the number of fatalities and injuries caused to children.
Unfortunately, Florida remains one of the only states in the nation that allows the use of seat belts for children between the ages of four and five. Most are aware that children at this age are generally too small for seat belts to function effectively and safely. The result is often sustaining internal injuries, spinal injuries, and death, particularly for children under the height of four feet nine inches.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), child restraint devices significantly reduce the injuries and fatalities to children involved in vehicular accidents. Child restraint devices protect children should an impact occur. These devices hold the child in place preventing any movement that can be harmful to the child or even ejection.
There is a 70 percent reduction in crash fatalities of infants and children up to one years old. The percentages decline to 54 percent for toddlers, and 45 percent for children between the ages of four and eight. In fact, at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Tampa, 50 percent of children ages five and under who are admitted to the pediatric trauma center were improperly restrained during a car accident.
Currently the requirements for child restraint devices in Florida for children ages four through five is not yet broad enough. The law allows children within this age range to be secured by seat belts. By January 2015, children will be required to be secured in child restraint devices in any vehicle, approved and mandated by the federal government. The time frame between now and the beginning of 2015 allows parents and guardians sufficient time to acquire the appropriate child restraint devices. Parents should review the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration recommendations and guidelines for traveling with small children in order to ensure utmost safety.
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Has your child been the victim of a car accident in Florida due to the child restraint laws in Florida? There is no reason not to fight for your rights, particularly when the laws in Florida are so antiquated. The professional West Palm Beach car accident lawyers at Fetterman & Associates are available and ready to support your family and to fight for the rights and proper settlement your family deserves. Contact Fetterman & Associates now for a free consultation at 561-845-2510 to learn more and see how we can help you.
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