Young Children and Auto Accidents

It’s a frightening statistic to think about but currently auto accidents are the number one of the main causes of death in young children. One can guess that this could happen due to the size and weight of the cars and trucks on the road today. Next on the list was drowning and fires. What is worse about this statistic is the information that follows it. About half of these deaths may have been caused because the young child was not wearing his or her seat belt. This means a lot of these deaths (almost half) could have been prevented just by wearing a seat belt. Our law firm handles auto accident cases every day, we help families that have been wrongfully injured or even killed in car accidents. It’s our goal to help raise awareness about these serious safety concerns. Please make sure the children that are riding in the car with you are wearing their seat belt and/or are in the correct booster or car seat. Additionally, you can lead by example and make sure to wear your seat belt at all times while in the car. Your children are more likely to keep the good habits that you teach them at a young age.

Maryland Law

Maryland law requires every child under 8 years old to ride in a safety seat, unless the child is over 4 feet 9 inches or weighs more than 65 pounds. A safety seat or booster seat is used to raise the child in the seat. This is so the child can be properly protected by both the seat and the safety belt.

Front Seat Driving and Air Bag Safety

Rear safety seats should not be used in any seat with an active airbag. Failure to follow this requirement is not only unlawful but puts the child at risk for serious injury. Children of any age are actually much safer in the back seat. Maryland law recommends children under the age of 13 not ride in the front seat with an active airbag. In some accidents, front seat airbags can cause serious injury to children under the age of 13. This recommendation is still used even when there is no front seat passenger airbag. For optimum safety – your child under the age of 13 should ride in the back seat.

Penalties

Currently there is a fine of $25 if you are caught driving without your seat belt. There are no points given. Regardless of the penalties given or not given it is highly recommended everyone of any age use their safety belts. Without them you are putting your family at high risk for injury or even death. Seat belts only take a moment to put on and it is proven that they save lives.

If you or someone you care about has any questions regarding auto accidents or Maryland law, please our law firm for a free consultation.

See also – Frequently Asked Questions about Maryland’s child safety laws
http://www.sha.state.md.us/faq/oc/faq_oc3.asp

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