There is a family in TX that has been getting a lot of media attention since they were in a tragic car accident. Mom and Dad were killed, 8 and 9 year old boys were paralyzed, but their 6 year old sister suffered minor injuries, some broken bones. In TX, children 8 and over do not have to be in a child restraint.
I am guessing that Willa was in a car seat or booster and her brothers were not, because this article describes the extent of the boys injuries. "Both boys have multiple spinal injuries from their seat belts and had pins inserted to stabilize the spine. Peter has a lot of damage to his lumbar spine. Both boys have contusions to the thoracic spine. Aaron had a halo installed to treat whiplash."
I am trying to learn from this tragedy and continue to keep my kids in 5 point harnesses. I went out of town a few weeks a go with a friend and the kids used boosters so everyone would fit in the back row of the SUV. On the way home, all the kids were asleep and leaning forward. It was not safe at all, but I felt better knowing they would go back to their 5 pt harnesses. My friend's kids use a high back and backless boosters all the time.
My 8.5 year old and 5 year olds are in the Britax Regent. My 3 year old is RF in a Britax Roundabout.
Obviously we can not control everything in life, but I feel like this is something that I can continue to do, to keep my kids safe.