Child safety seats are one of the strongest lines of defense between your child and injury during a car accident. In order to provide maximum protection in a crash, however, your child seat needs to be the right size for your child, and it needs to be installed correctly.
With the wide range of child seats available on the market today, figuring out exactly how to install the one you own can be a challenge. Fortunately, the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, together with the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, offers free child safety seat inspections for families.
The program is called SAFE C.A.R.G.O. It was established in October of 1999 to help New Jersey families choose and use safety seats in the most effective way for their children.
The sheriff’s office creates free, voluntary safety checkpoints throughout Monmouth County. Families can visit a checkpoint to have a trained technician examine their car seats, check for product recalls, and ensure car seats are installed correctly. Other New Jersey counties, including Union County, offer similar programs.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that as many as 80 percent of car seats on U.S. roads are installed incorrectly. Improper installation, or the use of a car seat that does not fit the child properly, can greatly increase the risk of serious injuries in an accident. It’s also important to check safety recalls issued by the NHTSA or the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regularly to ensure that you stop using a car seat if it contains a hidden defect.
If you or someone you love is injured in a car accident, don’t wait: contact an experienced New Jersey car accident lawyer who can help you understand your legal rights and fight for the compensation you and your loved ones deserve.