What To Do With Your Child’s Car Seat After An Accident?

accident car safety seat child crash seattle

Being in a car accident can be costly. In many cases, the damage can be overwhelming financially, even if there aren’t any injuries. When children are involved, items such as car safety seats may also be impacted. However, many parents wonder whether car seats that do not show any clear signs of damage can be reused. Especially if the car seat is a quality item. 

While it can be tempting to look at the seat and think that you can still make use of it, reusing a restraining gadget designed for children that has been in an accident is simply not ideal. 

Because car seat damage might not be immediately visible, reusing a device involved in a crash can increase the risk of injuries in the event of future accidents. 

Regulators Answer: When Can Car Seats Be Reused After A Minor Accident?

According to regulators with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are a few guidelines parents should follow if they are considering keeping a car seat involved in an accident. 

Considering that seats involved only in very minor crashes can be reused, regulators claim that first and foremost, parents should perform a thorough safety seat check to identify any potential damage. If no signs of damage are spotted, they must ask themselves if the door closest to the seat suffered any damage.

If the answer is no and the impact did not trigger the air bags, the vehicle could be driven away from the scene of the accident without any problems, and nobody inside the vehicle suffered any injuries, regulators add, then you might be able to keep the seat. 

In any case, if you go over these questions and you’re still not sure whether the seat is completely safe, do not hesitate to get rid of the potentially damaged item and get a new one. 

It might cost you a bit extra now, but your child’s safety comes first and you will be glad you made sure he or she is fully protected while riding in the car with you.

If the collision was not your fault, the insurance company for the responsible party should reimburse you for the purchase of a replacement seat.