Quite a few adults mistakenly believe that booster seats aren’t necessary for the safety of child passengers in motor vehicles. Some people think that booster seats are an attempt to infantilize children, while others simply don’t want the hassle of negotiating with a grade-school child about where they need to sit in the vehicle for the sake of safety.
Although it may seem unnecessary to make a child tall enough to ride some roller coasters sit in a special seat, in reality, a booster seat is a critical piece of safety equipment. Much like roller coasters, modern vehicles have safety systems designed for people of a certain height. Having a booster seat for your child could reduce their risk of injury while riding in the car.
Seatbelts and airbags have designs for adult bodies
When engineers create the safety systems for motor vehicles, they use the average size of an adult when determining where to place restraints. You may notice that when a child puts on a safety belt, the chest strap might cross their neck or sit uncomfortably high on their body.
The smaller torso of a child will not properly fit in a standard seat belt, which means that the restraints won’t necessarily work as intended in the event of a crash. Instead, the restraints could fail to function, leaving the child vulnerable for injuries resulting from the vehicle’s motion. In some cases, children could even get thrown from the car or wind up suffering injuries caused by the restraints intended to keep them safe.
Booster seats help restraints work properly
By putting a child who is under 4’9″ in a booster seat, you help ensure that they will remain safe in the event of a collision. Children as old as 12 may need these seats to stay safe in the event of a crash. Unlike an infant or toddler car seat, whose primary function is to restrain the child, the point of a booster seat is to lift a child up so that the restraints already in the vehicle will properly function.
Although your children may find it annoying to need to sit in a booster seat whenever they ride, their safety is more important than looking cool. If you explain to your children how restraints can fail due to their short stature, they may be more willing to sit in the booster seat without complaints. Allowing your child to decorate their booster seat with stickers that they like could also reduce their aversion to these special safety devices.
Proper restraints can improve a child’s safety in a crash. However, the potential for injuries still exists even with proper safety equipment and restraints. Knowing your rights and the law about personal injury rights in Pennsylvania can help you advocate for yourself or your child after a crash.