When Should You Use Car Seats AFTER an Accident


Car Seat_simulator_7

Question 1: Ever wonder why it is recommended NOT to buy a USED child car seat?

Question 2: How do you know if a car seat is safe to use after an accident?

What You Need to Know:
You need to know if the car seat was involved in a vehicle crash, and what type of vehicle crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that all car seats be replaced after moderate to severe crashes. Minor crashes typically do not require car seat replacement.

Here’s an easy way to understand crash severity, as defined by NHTSA.*

Key Questions to Determine Crash Severity
• Was there any damage to the car seat?
• Was the vehicle too damaged to drive?
• Was the vehicle door closest to the car seat damaged?
• Were there any passenger injuries?
• Did the airbags inflate during the crash?

If the answer to any of these questions is YES, then the vehicle crash was MODERATE or SEVERE.

If the answer to every question was NO, then the vehicle crash can be considered MINOR.

As previously mentioned, the NHTSA urges the replacement of any car seat that was in the vehicle in a MODERATE or SEVERE crash.

Car seats need to be replaced after a moderate to severe accident, but they also must be properly repaired or replaced if the manufacturer has issued a RECALL.

Question 3:  How will you know if there has been a recall?

  1. First, always pay attention to child safety recalls. Visit http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/recalls/childseat.cfm or http://www.safercar.gov/ and sign up to receive emails for car seat and booster seat recalls.
  1. Next, be sure to fill out and send in the car seat registration card that you receive when you purchase the car seat. Completing this quick information card will allow the manufacturer to contact you in case a safety-related defect is discovered.  If you no longer have the card, simply visit the manufacturer’s website and follow the instructions to register your car seat or booster seat.  If you still have questions, call NHTSA’s toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236 with the following key data points:


Model Name

Model Number

Date of Manufacture

  1. Once you’ve filled out the required information, the manufacturer is required to notify you of any recall for your car seat or booster seat.

If your car seat is recalled, get it fixed immediately per manufacturer’s instructions.  If you have another  car seat or booster seat, use it until the recalled seat is repaired.  If you don’t have another car seat or booster seat to use, keep using the recalled seat while you wait for the repair kit (assuming the recall information indicates it is safe to do so.)  Remember, it’s better to use a recalled seat than no car seat or booster seat at all!  Aim to get the recalled car seat fixed as soon as possible.

Here’s a quick review of the answers to those original questions.

Key Questions and Answers

Question 1: Ever wonder why it is recommended NOT to buy a USED child car seat?

Answer: It is never recommended to buy a USED child car seat because you do NOT know the history of the car seat and whether that car seat was involved in a vehicle crash. While the seller may seem honest, he or she may withhold information, may not know the previous history of the car seat, or may not realize what constitutes a moderate or severe crash.

Question 2: How do you know if a car seat is safe to use after an accident?

Answer: If the vehicle crash was moderate to severe, do NOT use it. If the vehicle crash was minor, then it should be acceptable to use. Review the first paragraph for details about moderate, severe, and minor crashes.

Question 3: How will you know if there has been a recall?

Answer: Always fill out the car seat registration form and send it in, keep an eye on recalls, and visit the NHTSA website at http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/recalls/childseat.cfm or http://www.safercar.gov/ for recall information or call NHTSA’s toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236.

*Information adapted from the U. S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and http://www.safercar.gov powered by NHTSA

Do you have questions about vehicle accidents and child safety?

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can answer them.  Contact us at (954) 428-9333 or www.goldmandaszkal.com.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.