August 16th, 2021|
The newer your vehicle, the likelier it is to feature high-tech upgrades to existing features designed to improve the car’s safety. However, it is all too easy to get swept up, assuming that the vehicle is automatically safe because it features the latest technology.
Children, in particular, can be vulnerable to tech safety features. Because of their curiosity and need to explore, they may inadvertently trigger features that can put them in danger. You should be aware of these and how to protect your child when they travel in your vehicle. The following are some of the most common hazards to consider.
Children can be injured when a power window closes on a finger, hand, or wrist. In extreme cases, children have even been strangled by power windows.
If your car has child safety settings for your power windows, turn them on. Vehicles from 2010 and later usually have pull-to-close switches that require pulling up to close the window, but older models may have window switches that a child can accidentally trigger.
Some vehicles are equipped explicitly with power windows that automatically reverse when something is in the path of a closing window. Check if your car benefits from this safety technology and keep the feature activated at all times.
Above all, never leave your child alone in the car. You should also teach your kids not to play with window switches and never put their limbs outside the window, regardless of whether the vehicle is in motion.
While restraining children in car seats and with seat belts is important to their safety, a seat belt can present a potential hazard for kids. Most seat belts have a locking mechanism that activates when the belt is pulled out too far, which could cause your child to get trapped in the belt.
If your child is very young, you should ensure they are appropriately restrained at all times. Entanglement in a seat belt presents a choking and strangling hazard, so your child must be taught the belt is not a toy. Buckle up any unused seat belts within the child’s reach, and do not leave the child alone unsupervised in the car.
While airbags make a car safer in general, they are dangerous to children weighing under 65 lbs. or generally under 13 years old. This is why children should not be allowed to sit up front until this age. Airbags cushion passengers when fully inflated but jolts them while still moving if they are too close.
As children are lighter, an airbag may lift them off their seats and cause them to hit their heads on the car roof. It can also propel them forward due to their inflate speed, and the blunt force impact could be enough to cause serious injury or even death. Letting a child ride in the passenger’s seat is not a decision to be made lightly, as airbags can deploy on impact, even if you’re driving very slowly and carefully.
Newer cars feature off switches, enabling you to turn off the airbag if a child is up front. Some now feature smart airbags that can sense if someone is too close or is not belted correctly.
Children should always be seated in the back, however, and preferably in a safety seat.
Berg Injury Lawyers, Product Liability Attorneys
The California product liability attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers can help if your child has been endangered or injured by vehicle tech features. If the feature is proven defective, you may be entitled to compensation.
A child or another family member suffering a severe injury due to a car accident caused by a defective component can be traumatizing, especially if you were under the reasonable assumption that the car’s features were safe, and you observed all the requisite safety measures. The devastation of watching your child suffer can be compounded by medical bills that you may have difficulty paying.
Since 1981, we have fought to ensure our clients obtain the compensation they’re entitled to. If your child has been the victim of injuries caused by defective vehicle tech features, schedule a free consultation with us today and let us review your case.
If your child has had an accident and you suspect it was caused by defective vehicle technology, contact us immediately.