Buffalo, N.Y. – Parents in New York now need rear-facing car seats for their children if they’re under the age of two or under a certain weight and height. The new car seat regulations came into effect last Friday. Previously, children were only required to sit in rear-facing seats until they were 12 months old.
The new law is aimed at better protecting babies and toddlers during car crashes. Since young children usually have disproportionately large heads, they are at greater risk of serious neck, head, and spinal injuries if they are thrown from a front-facing seat.
While car seats differ according to the manufacturer, most accommodate children who weigh up to 40 pounds and are up to 49 inches tall. Parents whose toddlers have not outgrown their seats should continue to use them even if they are older than two.
New York State Police officers are providing free car seat checks for parents who need them. Free inspections will also take place at locations throughout the state for the month of November.
A large number of crashes involve children. Robert Sinclair of AAA Northeast was quoted as saying that more than 4,000 children were killed or injured in New York crashes in 2018. Of those injured, 25 percent were not placed in rear-facing seats and 33 percent of those who died were not restrained at all.
Sinclair said there was a lot of work to be done to get parents to realize the importance of putting their children in car seats and then making sure they use the right type of seat.
While some parents worry that their kids will be fussy when they can’t see mom and dad, doctors say keeping them safe is more important.
If you and/or your kid have been injured in a car accident, contact the attorneys.