April 22, 2016

Replace Your Child Safety Seat After an Accident

Even Low Speed Crashes Can Cause Car Seat Damage, Reduce Protection and Performance in Future Crashes

September 18-24, 2016 Is Child Passenger Safety Week

Child safety seats are designed to protect children during an accident, but do you know how to ensure that car seat is safe AFTER the accident?

Approximately one in 10 vehicles on the road have a car seat or a child passenger under the age of seven who should be in a car seat, according to NHTSA. When considering that, on average, a driver has a car accident once every seven years, it’s highly likely that a child under the age of seven may be in an accident.

While most drivers immediately plan to repair or replace the vehicle after the crash, they don’t always consider that the forces that damaged their car also put a significant strain on the car seat, likely damaging or weakening the structure.  In most accident cases other than a minor crash, NHTSA recommends replacing a car seat after an accident, even though damage to the seat might not be visible.

What defines a minor crash? A minor crash is one in which ALL of the following apply:
• The vehicle was able to be driven away from the crash site
• The vehicle door nearest the car seat was not damaged
• None of the passengers in the vehicle sustained any injuries in the crash
• If the vehicle has air bags, the air bags did not deploy during the crash
• There is no visible damage to the car seat

NHTSA recommends that drivers NEVER use a car seat that has been involved in a moderate to severe crash. Always follow manufacturer’s instructions.

“CARSTAR is committed to repairing accident damage and getting families back on the road in a safe vehicle, and the child safety seat is a major part of that vehicle’s safety system,” said Dean Fisher, Chief Operating Officer for CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts.  “Any time you’re replacing sheet metal, bumpers, air bags and other safety systems, you’ve been in a crash hard enough to damage the child safety seat.  It’s a cost that many insurance policies cover, so it’s always smart to replace the car seat and ensure your child is safe and protected on the road.”

For more tips on driving and collision repair, visit www.carstar.com. CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts offers high-quality, reliable repair service in 30 states and 10 Canadian provinces. Just call 1-800-CARSTAR when you need a vehicle repair, and they will send a tow truck, contact your insurance company, arrange for a rental car and repair your car. For information and store locations, visit here.