Your children’s safety is your top priority every time you leave home to take a trip in your car. To protect your kids from injury during an unexpected collision, always take a few moments to buckle them into an age-, height- and weight-appropriate car seat or booster seat.
Following a car accident, you may wonder if you need to replace your children’s car seats. After all, new car seats typically cost between $80 and $400. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tells parents it is only safe to continue to use car seats that have been through minor accidents.
Replace car seats after moderate or severe collisions
According to the NHTSA, you should replace your children’s car seats after moderate or severe collisions. If you think these terms are subjective, you are not alone. Fortunately, the NHTSA has a multi-factor test to determine if an accident qualifies as moderate or severe.
If any of the following applies to your wreck, you should replace your children’s car seats:
- The car’s airbags deploy
- The car is not drivable
- The side of the car closest to the children’s car seats sustains damage
- Someone in the accident suffers an injury
- The car seat has visible signs of damage
Buy new instead of used
Paying for everything your children need can cost a small fortune. While buying used clothing, toys and other items may help you stretch your budget, you should never purchase a used car seat.
A used car seat may have imperceptible cracks or other defects that make it unsafe. If your children are riding in one of these seats, they may be more vulnerable to injuries in a future car accident.