A Chicago Tribune investigation has uncovered disturbing data regarding the safety of infant car seats. The probe revealed government reports showing that nearly half of child car seats failed crash tests. These reports were never publicized leaving even some manufacturers in the dark. According to the Tribune, one crash test video showed a car seat flying off its base and smashing a baby dummy into the back of a driver’s seat. This potentially defective car seat was one of thirty one out of a total of sixty seats tested that either flew off base or exceeded other injury limits in frontal collisions. Parents are left to wonder if the child seats in their cars are defective and what might happen in a real car accident. The car seat test results were found buried in reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted to evaluate 2008 vehicle safety and not car seat safety.
The investigation highlights how little information is currently available to Illinois parents regarding car seat safety. Child car seats do not currently come with any sort of safety rating giving parents no way to determine seat safety. For example, two of the most expensive car seats actually had the poorest crash test results. Safety seats are also designed in such a manner that certain seats fit better with certain car models. This information is also not readily available to the consumer. New Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood responded to the safety seat exposure last Friday ordering a “complete top to bottom review of child safety seat regulations.” LaHood also asked that the NHTSA make crash test results more readily available to consumers so that Illinois parents can make informed decisions when purchasing car seats. While the tests were described as research, the results for two seats were so disturbing that the government instituted recalls. The infant seat exposed in the above mentioned crash video was not recalled. Around 7,000 children were injured and 63 killed in crashes while strapped into infant safety seats in 2007.
Manufacturers are required to produce safe products and provide warning for any unsafe features. If a company manufacturers a defective product that causes an injury to you or a family member, you may have a claim. Chicago area personal injury lawyer Joseph G. Klest is experienced in handling injury cases involving dangerous or defective products. Contact the Klest Law Firm today for a free initial consultation.