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Are these child seats still safe??

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Dh got in a wreck on Monday - totally not his fault, he was rear-ended and pushed into a car in front of him, leaving our car totalled (it was an uninsured motorist, to boot! Anyway, he was alone in the car and totally fine. The accident only effected the front/hood of the car.

 

So, my question is - do I need to replace my carseats? I have a booster for DD6, which was relatively cheap, but DS1 is in a britax - I don't really want to toss it for no good reason. I know you're supposed to replace carseats post accidents...but really? Really? They seem totally uneffected by the incident.

 

Help? TIA!

post #2 of 10

better safe than sorry. the materials can get stressed without any visible damage. i'm glad your DH is fine!

post #3 of 10

Because you have a Britax, you might not have to replace it for some crashes. 

 

MOST carseat manufactureres require you to replace even after a minor crash.  

 

But sense your car is totalled, I would consider that grounds for replacing it.  You can keep the cover, and if it was unoccupied, the harness too.  Your insurance should buy you a new one! 

 

Here is more info on britax (copied from somewhere on car-seat.org)

 

 

 

 

Britax's FAQ refers to the NHTSA criteria for carseat replacement after a crash at http://www.britaxusa.com/customer-se...r-seat-basics/

Q: What should I do with my child restraint that's been involved in a crash?

A: Britax recommends that use of a child restraint be discontinued if it has been in a severe crash. We further advise of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) position that it is not necessary to replace a child restraint after a minor crash. A minor crash is one that meets ALL of following criteria:

* The vehicle was able to be driven away from the crash site;
* The vehicle door nearest the child restraint was undamaged;
* There were no injuries to any of the vehicle occupants;
* The air bags (if present) did not deploy; AND
* There is no visible damage to the child restraint.

Here is the direct link to NHTSA's crashed seat criteria for replacement, previously cited by the Britax crashed seat FAQ:http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/inju...raintReUse.htm

Please note that the above manufacturer's crashed seat FAQs and NHTSA criteria do not differentiate between an unoccupied and occupied seat. The carseat has been subjected to crash forces even if it was unoccupied at the time of the crash. There could be unseen damage from the stress of the crash that could potentially cause the seat to fail to properly protect your child in the event of another crash.

post #4 of 10

A crash that totals a vehicle is not a minor crash, and your seat will need to be replaced regardless of brand.

post #5 of 10

Include the cost of the car seats in your insurance claim.

post #6 of 10

the seats were empty though? why would you have to replace it?

post #7 of 10

sosurreal - just like cars have crumple zones meant to absorb the energy of an impact, carseats have material that is meant to absorb that same energy. Even with nobody in the seat, the carseat would still have been exposed to the force of the crash. Therefore, some of that material could have done it's job and compressed to absorb that force. Once the material is compressed, it does not come back. So not only is there the issue of possible damage that you can't see, there is also the issue of material that is designed to protect the child for one crash, and one crash only that may have already done it's job and be in no condition to repeat it. And you can't always tell that, either.

post #8 of 10

oooh, I never knew that, I thought there had to be weight in it. Thank you for the enlightenment.

post #9 of 10

Have you talked to the insurance about the seats? Most insurance companies will replace the seats if there is a claim. I was rear-ended hard enough to shove me forward and hit the car in front of me, the car was drivable, air bags didn't deploy, etc. Just the bumpers were replaced. And they still replaced my seats!

post #10 of 10

sosurreal - no problem. My sister was in a similar situation last summer. She was hit as she was making a left-hand turn into a driveway (car had stopped for her to let her through, another car behind that car went around it rather than stop as well). Her car wasn't damaged too bad, but it did do a 360. Her DD was NOT in the car. But it was explained to her pretty much how I explained it when she asked if she still needed to replace the carseat.

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