The crunch of metal and the jolt of a collision can be one of the most jarring experiences a driver can face, especially when there’s the precious cargo of a little one in the back seat. After ensuring everyone’s safety and dealing with the immediate aftermath, there’s an essential piece of child safety equipment that needs attention: the car seat.
You may wonder whether that trusty seat that’s cradled your child on countless journeys is still up to the task after an accident. It’s a valid concern because even if it looks fine, its integrity could be compromised.
Not all crashes are created equal
Not all fender benders require a new car seat. Minor crashes typically don’t need car seat replacement. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides clear criteria to help you judge if your car seat is still safe:
- You could drive the vehicle from the crash.
- There wasn’t damage to the door closest to the car seat.
- There were no injuries to any of the vehicle’s occupants.
- The airbags did not deploy.
- The car seat has no visible damage.
All of those must be true if you keep the car seat. If any of those five points aren’t true, the car seat should be replaced. If you have any doubts, swap it out. This is the golden rule because when it comes to your child’s safety, it’s always better to err on the side of caution.
The car seat is only one aspect of the crash that you have to think about. You must ensure that you and your children get medical care. Ultimately, you may opt to seek compensation for the financial damages that are due to the crash.