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Car seats need more protection than Florida law

Children are the most precious cargo on America's roads. Parents always observe extra precautions on a grocery run, pickup after practice or road trip with a child on board. Since other drivers cannot be relied upon to be careful, parents have a duty to protect children against car accidents.

All drivers and passengers in motor vehicles should wear a seat belt when a car, truck or bus is in motion. Children below the age of five or a height of 4'9" generally require additional protection.

Florida law regarding car seats for infants and young children are among the most lenient in the country. Requirements include a car seat for children below age four. Children aged four or five require car seats or booster seats.

These may be considered only the bare minimum of safety precautions, and there are other considerations for parents. For example, children are five times safer in a rear-facing car seat than facing forward during an accident.

Vehicles also have different features that make car seats more complicated, and there are various types of car seats for ages and sizes of children. The manual of a car or truck, as well as the instructions for restraints, must be carefully followed to make sure a child is as safe as possible.

No matter the protections, roads can be dangerous and car accidents pose specific dangers for infants and children. Distracted or drunk drivers can cause heavy damage, injuries or even fatalities.

Compensation for medical expenses and punitive damages for pain, suffering and lost wages may be part of a settlement or court decision regarding a vehicle collision. Consider legal representation if you or your family has been the victim of a car accident.

Source: Florida Today, "Car seat safety tips," Kristen Townsend, Aug. 24, 2017

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