January 8th, 2020 by Fix Auto USA
If you are involved in a vehicle collision, there is a good chance that your child’s car seat will need to be replaced. While this is not always the case with certain car seat brands, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) advises that “child safety seats should be replaced following a moderate or severe crash to ensure a continued high level of crash protection for child passengers.”
Car seats do not automatically need to be replaced following a minor crash.
What Qualifies As A Minor Crash?
According to the NHTSA, a minor crash is one in which all of the following occurs:
- 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 airbags, the airbags did not deploy during the crash; and
- There is no visible damage to the car seat.
All of these must apply for a crash to be considered minor.
Check Your Manufacturer Instructions
Some car seat manufacturers will include an instruction manual on what to do in the case of a collision. If your car seat manufacturer recommends you replace your car seat after even a minor crash, do so immediately. Not only for safety reasons but also because your warranty may be voided if you do not follow the manufacturer instructions.
Will An Insurance Company Cover A New Car Seat?
There are some instances where you can have the expense of a new car seat covered by your insurance. If you are in a collision that was the fault of another driver, you can include the cost of replacing your child’s car seat in your property damage claim.
If you’re at fault, contact your insurance company immediately after a collision to see if that is something covered under your personal policy. Many times an insurance company will offer this as the costs of new car seats can be high and not everyone can afford to purchase one right away.
Never Buy A Used Car Seat
It may be tempting after a collision to purchase a secondhand car seat because of the high costs of a new one. Unfortunately, there is no way to know just by sight if a car seat has been involved in an accident. On the safe side, never purchase or accept a secondhand car seat that may have been in a collision at some point in time.
Always remember that when it comes to child car seats, your child’s safety is the number one priority. If you’ve been in what is considered a minor accident by the NHTSA, make sure your car seat does not need to be replaced according to manufacturer’s instructions. If you need to have your car seat replaced, contact your insurance right away to see if your policy covers that option.
This blog post was contributed by Fix Auto Orangevale, a leading industry expert and collision repair shop servicing the Sacramento area including Folsom, Fair Oaks, and Roseville.