Replacing Car Seats After a CrashRebekah Kuschmider
So, I got in a car accident. It wasn’t major; I was barely moving and the other driver was going under 25 mph. No one was hurt and that’s the most important thing. However, my car? May be a total loss. I was hit right on my front tire with enough impact to slam the wheel into a weird angle and render it utterly non-responsive to the steering wheel. I was lucky to be right in front of my house when it happened because my car could not be driven away from the scene and both my kids were in the car.
I knew that in some cases, the National Highway Safety Board recommends replacing all car seats. I did a little research to find out what the actual guidelines for seat replacement are and learned that car seats don’t always need to be replaced after a crash. If a crash is minor they can still be used but in order to qualify as minor, the crash has to meet ALL of the following criteria:
- The vehicle was able to be driven away from the crash site;
- The vehicle door nearest the safety seat was undamaged;
- There were no injuries to any of the vehicle occupants;
- The air bags (if present) did not deploy; AND
- There is no visible damage to the safety seat
Since my car isn’t drivable, my accident does not count as being minor. I have to assume the car seats are compromised. I guess they’re like bike helmets and can only withstand one accident without having their integrity compromised.
Needless to say, replacing my car seats is not something I’m jumping for joy about. They were each under a year old and they aren’t cheap, but using car seats that might not be perfectly safe is unacceptable to me. I’m hopeful that my insurance company will cover some of the cost of replacing them and I’m going to try to take advantage of a Babies R Us trade-in event to get a discount on new seats. That will also take care of disposing of the old seats so that no one else tries to use them.
One thing this car crash taught me is that car seats really do their job. Both of my kids were secure in their seats and were totally unhurt. My baby didn’t even cry when we were hit and my son thought we’d just driven over a bump. I’m so grateful that we all walked away from this accident. I can replace car seats, after all.
Photo credit: photo stock