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Should you buy a new child car seat after a rear-end collision?

Rear-end collisions, where the front of one vehicle collides with the back of another, are the most frequent type of car accident in the U.S. In fact, according to statistics from Pathways by Amica, there are nearly 1.7 million rear-end accidents every single year. Usually, the driver of the rear vehicle is responsible.

While you eventually may be able to seek a financial settlement from the responsible driver, you may have to pay for medical treatment and other accident-related expenses temporarily. Because money is likely to be in short supply after a car accident, you may wonder if it is safe to continue to use your child’s car seat.

Does the car seat still fit your child?

Children can outgrow car and booster seats faster than one may think. Therefore, after a car accident, it is important to determine if your child continues to fit into the seat. If he or she does, it may be safe to continue to use the seat.

Does the seat have damage?

Before transporting your child in a car seat that has been in a rear-end collision, you should examine the seat for any visible signs of damage. These may be cracks, breaks, buckle damage or something else. Regardless of how harmless the damage may seem, it is never wise to continue to use a damaged car seat.

Was the accident minor?

Finally, you should only use a car seat that has been through a minor rear-end collision. For your collision to be minor, each of the following must be true:

  • Your car was drivable after the accident
  • Your car’s airbags did not inflate
  • Your car does not have damage to the door closest to your child’s car seat
  • You and your passengers did not suffer any injuries in the collision

Ultimately, while a car seat may set you back more than a hundred dollars, replacing your child’s seat may give you some valuable peace of mind.