When you transport your children, you always strap them into car seats that are appropriate for their heights and weights. You also probably place your children’s car seats in the back of your vehicle, as safety professionals have recommended for decades.
While the rear of your vehicle is likely to be the safest place for the young ones in your family, they may be at grave risk due to a front-seat collapse. These collapses happen when a seat’s internal supports fail during a car accident.
Why are front-seat collapses so dangerous?
If you are like the average American, you probably weigh between 130 and 220 pounds. Meanwhile, your car’s front seat probably tips the scales at more than 100 pounds. If your front seat collapses, the combined weight of your body and the seat may crush children who are riding in the back.
Are vehicle manufacturers addressing the issue?
Many safety professionals believe the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration should warn parents and others about the dangers of seat collapses. Nevertheless, the federal requirements for seat integrity have remained largely unchanged for nearly half a century. This means vehicle manufacturers may have little incentive to reinforce the front seats in the cars, trucks and SUVs they sell.
What can you do to protect your kids?
Because of the risk of suffering a serious injury due to airbag deployment, you may not want to place your children’s car seats in the front of your vehicle. By always driving responsibly, however, you may decrease your chances of having a car accident. If you can avoid an accident, you probably do not have to worry about a front-seat collapse.
On the other hand, if your car’s front seats wiggle or otherwise seem insecure, you should take the vehicle for repairs immediately. Ultimately, though, if your child suffers a catastrophic injury or dies because of a front-seat collapse, you may be eligible for substantial financial compensation.