Legally, children aged seven years and above can be restrained in an adult seat belt, but new independent research commissioned by Slater and Gordon Lawyers found nearly one in five parents would wait longer.
The research also found mums (20 per cent) were more likely than dads (17 per cent) to use safety restraints beyond seven years of age.
Five days before Christmas last year, the client’s vehicle was t-boned by a stolen car that had run a red light. Even though the vehicle directly hit his car door, her four-year-old son was unharmed. His mother is certain that his booster seat saved her son’s life.
Sadly, her eight-year-old daughter was not sitting in a booster seat and broke her pelvis. After helping her through a tough recovery, her mother has reinstalled her daughter’s child restraints and to keep her strapped in longer.
Up to 80 children are killed and thousands more injured in road crashes each year.
Slater and Gordon motor vehicle accident lawyer Eid Kazzi said, “The child restraint laws are a minimum requirement only – there’s no reason you can’t keep your child strapped in over the age of seven.
If a child is sitting in an adult seat, the shoulder belt should lie across the middle of their chest and the lap belt should be low across the hips and pelvis. They should be tall enough to sit against the vehicle seat back with their knees bent.”
“Parents needed to consider their child’s height and weight when deciding whether to remove them from car seat child restraints”, Eid added.
Eid Kazzi is an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law and works in Slater and Gordon Liverpool office. He can be contacted on 02 8711 4800 for any legal questions.