Keeping Children Safe In The Back Seat

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), motor vehicle injuries represent the leading cause of death among children age 3–14 years old in the U.S. (Source: NHTSA, 2008 data).


From 2006–2010, 64 child passengers, ages 0–12 died in traffic crashes in Colorado.  Over half (55%) were not using a child safety seat or seat belt, or they were using one improperly.  CDOT states that many of these deaths could have been prevented. Placing children in age and size-appropriate car seats and booster seats reduces serious and fatal injuries by more than half.

The Booster seat law took effect on August 1, 2011.  Here’s what it mandates:  Children ages 4-8 (through their 8th birthday) must be properly restrained in a child restraint system.   This means they must use either a car seat or booster.  So what exactly does that mean?

  • Infants must be in a rear-facing child safety seat until they are at least one year old and weigh at least 20 lbs.
  • Children ages one year to four years who weigh 20 pounds up to 40 pounds be restrained in a forward-facing child safety seat.
  • Children who are at least four years old but less than eight years old be properly restrained in a child booster seat or with a child safety belt-positioning device.
  • Children who are at least eight years old and at least 55 inches tall, must be properly restrained with the motor vehicle’s safety belt.

Why should children ride in the back seat?  There’s a very good reason.

Corporal Eric Wynn of the Colorado State Patrol says we should never put a child in front of an active airbag. He explains that the passenger-side airbag explodes at 200 mph in a crash, while the driver’s side airbag explodes at only 150 mph.

“The difference is in the distance the bag has to travel to protect the person. Bags are designed for a 140 pound man who is wearing a seat belt, not a smaller, lighter, child, and especially not without a seat belt.”

For most people, this is a common sense law because we want to safeguard our children.  However for those who do not comply with this law, fines start at $82.

Make sure your child is securely restrained and your seatbelt fastened before you make any journey.  Hopefully this will provide maximum protection from injury if you become involved in an accident.

If you and your child have been involved and injured in an accident, it is important to seek the help of an experienced attorney immediately.

McDivitt Law Firm’s Colorado Auto Accident Attorneys have all the resources needed to adequately investigate the facts surrounding your accident. Call McDivitt Law Firm toll free at (877) 846-4878 or click here for a free case evaluation form.  Remember, your initial consultation is absolutely free and there is no fee until we collect money for you.

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