A car accident is something that isn’t in your control.
Even though you’re following all the rules and regulations of car driving still you can’t say that you’re not gonna get involved in any collision in the future.
The reason is that a collision can happen because of not only your fault but someone else as well.
So, the best thing that you can do is to prepare yourself for such unprecedented events.
A car seat is a step toward your preparation, right?
Well, before we dive deep into what needs to be done with a car seat post-collision, please allow me to highlight some of the data related to car accidents which would definitely be an eye-opener for you.
The year 2019 wasn’t good for the car drivers. Around 36,096 people died in 33,244 fatal motor vehicle crashes.
The inference is definitely demoralizing, the crashes resulted in 11.0 deaths per 100,000 people and 1.11 deaths per 100 million miles traveled.
The variation in fatality rate was huge across the states, that is, the fatality rate per 100,000 people ranged from 3.3 in the District of Columbia to 25.4 in Wyoming.
Furthermore, the death rate per 100 million miles traveled ranged from 0.51 in Massachusetts to 1.73 in South Carolina.
So, from all these data points we can conclude that if we’re driving in the United States, we need to be well prepared, especially the kids should be provided with all the necessary safety measures.
It goes without saying that no one wants to be a part of a car accident, it’s really stressful, and at times, can lead to permanent physical or mental damage.
And, the situation can be worrisome if you’re a parent of young and growing kids.
So, what should I do with a car seat after a collision?
Without wasting your time, I would come straight to the point, a car seat should be immediately replaced post-collision, and the same has been recommended by most car manufacturers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Well, if you’re satisfied with this one-paragraph answer then you can skip reading further.
However, if you wanna go deep into the context of the topic then I would request you to keep reading till the end as it will not only educate you about various aspects of what needs to be done to a car seat post-collision but will also help you to educate others.
Moving further, I’ll throw light on what minor damage in a car accident actually means.
And, most importantly, whether your insurance company will pay for a replacement car seat post-collision or NOT.
So, without any further ado, let’s begin…
Are Car Seats Designed To Absorb Impact? Let’s Find Out…
First thing first, if you’re a first-time buyer you need to figure out whether the car seat you’re planning to buy can absorb impact or NOT.
The good news is most of the car seats available on the market are designed to absorb impact.
However, on the surface, you might feel that your car seat doesn’t need replacement as it is designed to absorb impact.
But, you know what, all the things that you see with your naked eyes aren’t reality always.
Correct me, if I’m wrong.
It is quite possible that the impact of the crash wouldn’t be visible to your eyes immediately but if the damage has happened in the collision then you need to find a solution to it.
From my past knowledge and experience, what I can say is to replace your car seat immediately post the collision.
It may cost you a few hundred bucks for sure but it will not only keep you and your family safe in the long run but also will give you peace of mind.
Remember, anything that takes away peace of mind is a very costly affair.
Anyway, what I said is the view of our team at IzzySmartHomeGuide.Com, and you can definitely beg to differ, we’re totally fine with it.
Must Analyze Your Child’s Car Seat
You should never take risks in the case of your kids.
It is highly recommended that you thoroughly analyze your kid’s car seat post a collision, and make sure the seat doesn’t have significant damage or crack.
In case, you found out anything suspicious immediately replace the damaged car seat with the new one.
Quite a few clients ask us, what to do in case of a minor accident.
First and foremost, there isn’t any benchmark to differentiate between a minor and a serious accident, right?
A crash that might seem to you as minor might have done serious damage to your kid’s car seat which is not visible by your naked eye so why risk your kid’s life?
That is my thought process and I don’t have any intention to scare you but at the same time, if you could minimize the risk by replacing the collision car seat with a new one, then why not?
Important – Check Your Car Seat Manual
Don’t skip this step – it is really important that you check your car seat manual as most of the top-rated manufacturers will tell you what needs to be done with the seat post-collision.
Nonetheless, when our core team went through quite a few manuals, they found out that most of the manufacturers have iterated that a car seat should be replaced post-collision to keep your child safe and secured.
And, our perception of a car seat post-accident is exactly the same.
Of course, you’re free to beg to differ.
Check Your Car Seat Manufacturer
Checking a car seat manufacturer is very important.
But, unfortunately, most of the newbies don’t do research about the car seat manufacturer, and as a result, they lack enough information to make an informed buying decision.
In today’s digital world, it’s really easy to build a brand, isn’t it?
So, you need to be very careful with fake and inappropriate claims by the manufacturers.
However, you don’t have to worry at all, as we’ve done the hard work for you.
As per The Car Seat Lady, the below-mentioned brands don’t tell you to dispose of your child’s car seat immediately post the collision.
Moreover, that is a generic statement as without cross-examining a car seat no one can say how severely it has been impacted, right?
I can understand that the brands that I’m gonna talk about now are highly confident about the quality of their car seats but at the same time, you also need to understand that they don’t have any control over the intensity of a collision.
And, not to forget, how good a product is, it always has a limit, right?
I hope you’re able to infer what I actually wanna say.
Listen to everyone but make your decision on facts, figures, and most importantly, your wisdom.
- Britax says you can keep your car seat if you encounter a minor accident
- Combi says to keep your car seat for a minor accident.
- Diono says to keep your car seat if you experience a minor accident, and you own their Cambria, Monterey, or Santa Fe car seat.
- Fisher-Price says you can keep your car seat if the accident is minor.
- IMMI says you can keep your car seat if the accident was minor.
- Kiddy says you can keep your car seat if your accident is minor. Kiddy defines a minor as an accident when the car was traveling ten miles or less per hour.
- Peg Perego says you can keep your car seat if the accident is minor.
- Safe Traffic says you can keep your car seat if the accident is minor.
- Sunshine Kids says you can keep your car seat if the accident is minor, and you own one of their Santa Fe or Monterey models.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Safety Guidelines
Well, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a new guideline covering child safety seats that incur accidents.
Before coming up with this guideline, the NHTSA used to recommend that any car seat involved even in minor accidents should be replaced with a new one.
NHTSA after reviewing several instances of crash testing came to the conclusion that some car seats are capable of withstanding another accident.
Avoid Riding with Your Child When Replacing Your Car Seat
NHTSA is very particular about the reuse of a car seat that was a part of an accident.
It clearly says that any car seat that was a part of a moderate to serious collision should be immediately replaced with a new one for the safety of the kid.
Also, it emphasizes not to ride with the kids until the seat has been replaced in order to prevent any unprecedented event.
What If Your Child Wasn’t in the Car During the Accident?
A few weeks ago, one of my clients asked me what if my child wasn’t present in the car during the accident.
Well, I know quite a first-time buyer may be going through such thoughts, right?
Don’t worry, today I’m gonna end this age-old debate for sure.
Let’s hear what NHTSA has to say, You need to evaluate your car seat condition post-collision irrespective of the fact whether your child was in the car or NOT.
In my view, any car seat involved in an accident irrespective of whether your kid is on it or not should be immediately replaced as you can play with your child’s safety, right?
Most car seats are designed to absorb the impact so even though your kid isn’t on the car seat it must have absorbed the impact which might have damaged the seat internally, You never know, right?
It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Of course, you can beg to differ but I always love to express my views and raise my voice.
NHTSA Encourages You to Check Your Car Seat
NHTSA suggests that you should check your car seat even after a minor collision in order to prevent any risk associated with the car seat.
However, you can also do some quality checks that we’re gonna discuss sometime to get some idea about the damage that was caused during the collision.
NHTSA uses the below-mentioned guidelines to determine the car seat’s capabilities post-collision.
- Whether or not you succeeded in driving away from the car accident
- Was the door in the vicinity of your child’s severely impacted or NOT
- If all the passengers of the car were uninjured and successfully walked away from the car accident
- Whether the airbags were unused
- If the child’s safety seat seems to have some cracks or damage to your naked eyes
Well, ask the aforementioned questions to yourself, and if the answer is “yes” to all the questions, then you may think of using the car seat again.
However, IzzySmartHomeGuide.Com doesn’t recommend the reuse of the car seat that was involved even in the minutes of the collision.
We believe that the safety of every kid is the top priority of the parents so spending a few hundred dollars on a new car seat could be a better and risk-free option, indeed.
However, you’re mature enough to make your own decisions and follow the recommendations of the institution that you’ve faith in and trust.
What Is A Minor Damage?
Liberty Mutual defines minor damage in a way that sounds familiar and quite similar to what NHTSA believes.
In other words, if you can drive your car away from the point of collision and post examination, you couldn’t find any visible damage to your car seat, then you should be OK.
Slow accidents that mostly happen in the parking lots involve easy fixes, like dents or scratches.
Don’t Forget to Ask Your Insurance Company
Post-collision, if you’re planning to replace your child’s car seat then don’t forget to contact your car insurance agent and ask for your claim.
It is one of the easiest ways to find out whether or NOT your car insurance covers the damage to your child’s car seat.
In fact, the better thing would’ve been to get confirmed at the times of insurance itself whether your car seat insurance was covered or NOT.
As per my knowledge and experience, what I’ve seen is that in most cases, if you’re not at fault in the collision and have full coverage, then your insurance company should cover the cost of your child’s new car seat.
Well, you should be well aware of laws that are currently prevailing in your state.
Laws aren’t the same in all the states of the USA so knowing the state law can save you from wasting money unknowingly.
For example, if you live in California, the law states that you must replace your child’s car seat after an accident.
Standard Insurance Company Expectations
It is equally important for you to understand what actually a standard Insurance Company is expecting from you to prevent any last-hour misadventure.
Let’s see some of the cases so that you would be able to understand the expectations of an Insurance Company.
What actually some insurance companies will do is ask you to buy the same car seat as you were having before and give them the receipt so that they can pay you back, It’s perfectly fine nothing wrong with it.
On the other hand, there are insurance companies that will not ask you to buy the same safety seat.
If your insurance company doesn’t ask you to buy the same safety seat then you can upgrade your car seat if you feel so.
Nonetheless, my suggestion to all my readers is that you should call your insurance company and get a clear picture of the rules and regulations before making a purchase.
The reason why I’m saying so is that you’ll need to add your safety seat to your initial claim.
It’s A Wrap
First and foremost, I would like to thank you for being with us till the end.
Secondly, I would like to bring to your notice that I along with my core team have put loads and loads of effort into coming up with this idiosyncratic piece of information.
And, in case, you liked our efforts then please do share the information with the ones who are in need of it.
After all, sharing is caring, isn’t it?
To cut a long story short and simple answer to the query, What should I do with the car seat after a collision is to REPLACE IT.
We recommend the immediate replacement of a car seat post-collision irrespective of how severe it is because it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
The replacement may cost you some extra bucks but remember by doing so you’re securing your baby’s safety, isn’t it?
That’s all, as of now:):)