Tethering Down Safety - Protect Your Child in a Car Accident

Newer cars come equipped with all kinds of safety devices to protect you and your family. Cars even come with an anchor system to help in restraining kids’ car seats, so that parents can keep their children as safe as possible.

Safety tethers were added to forward-facing car seats in 1999, and later, in 2001, corresponding anchors for those tethers were added to cars. With those safety devices installed in cars, you would think that parents would use them, keeping their children safe on trips or days out and about. Surprisingly, research done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows different results.

Tethers Reduce the Risk of Head Injury
All forward-facing car seats have top and bottom straps to keep the car seat from tipping too far forward in the event of a car accident. If a child’s seat goes too far forward in a collision, the child can hit the seat in front of him or her, causing injury to the head and face. The effectiveness of these tethers was proven in many crash tests. Data shows that using these straps reduces the likelihood that a child will suffer a head injury. However, research shows that less than half of parents use these straps.


“Crash tests show that tethers help reduce the likelihood of head injuries in crashes, so it’s disappointing that more parents don’t use them,” says Anne McCartt, Institute senior vice president for research.

Not Many Parents Are Using Tethers
In drivers who have vehicles older than 2001, only 19% of the tethers were being used. 47% of the tethers were being used in cars that were newer than 2001. If all seats and most cars come with restraints to better protect a child and with the numbers of crashes constantly on the increase, it is a wonder that more parents have not started to use the available safety tethers.

A similar study, done in 1974, showed that those kinds of restraints were being used only half the time. After all these years and developments in technology, not much has changed. Parents still do not utilize every restraint possible.

Research was also conducted to see which cars had the proper tethers installed. 9 out of 10 tethers were tight, not loose. Drivers of cars, SUVs and minivans were also found to use the proper restraints only about 44% of the time. Trucks and pickups were least likely to have restraints installed. When they were installed though, only 17% used the tethers available.

If Your Child Has Been Injured
The road is a dangerous place to be. When children are not properly restrained, the result can be catastrophic. If your child has been hurt in a Southern California car accident, you may be able to hold the other driver liable.  For more information, contact one of our experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorneys at Steinberg Injury Lawyers at (800) 989-6385.

Be sure to order a FREE copy of our controversial book, 7 BIGGEST MISTAKES That Can Ruin Your California Injury Case.

Peter Steinberg, Esq.
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Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Since 1982