After getting into a collision, people need to examine their child’s car seat. Car seats protect children in a crash and parents may need to replace these seats after an accident.
There are a few ways that parents can determine if they need to get a new car seat.
Kind of accident
Parents should consider the severity of the crash. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, parents may not need to get a new car seat if they were in a minor collision. In a minor collision, the air bags do not deploy and people can continue to drive the car. Additionally, the passengers do not sustain injuries and the door next to the car seat does not incur damage. If all these factors are present, parents may not need to replace their car seat. Even a minor accident can cause damage to a car seat, though, especially if the car seat already had a lot of wear and tear. Parents should make sure they always look for signs of damage.
Parents should make sure they get a new car seat if the air bags deployed or if the door next to the car seat sustained damage. Even if the car seat does not look damaged, a moderate or severe accident can compromise the structural integrity of the car seat.
According to Consumer Reports, parents should replace a car seat if they see that it sustained damage in the accident. Parents should inspect the car seat after the collision occurs. A car seat can incur damage through daily use and parts may wear out over time. However, if parents see loose parts and cracks that they know were not there before the crash, they should get a new car seat. Cracks could indicate that the car seat is no longer structurally sound.