After being in an accident, you are probably feeling fortunate that you are able to walk away from it without being severely injured. Even if you are injured, it is good to feel fortunate that you still have a life to live.
Even with injuries, life goes on, and you have to adapt. Essentially if your vehicle is severely damaged, you may have to replace it. The same could be said about car seats after they have been involved in an accident. While many car seats are durable, they are not indestructible. And after a car accident, a car seat may have to be replaced just like the totaled cars they were in.
The problem is, it is not always easy to determine when a car seat must be replaced (outside of the child growing out of it). However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sets out criteria for consumers to determine whether a car seat should be taken out of service.
How severe was the accident? – Of course, if the accident was severe (i.e. totaled as we alluded to earlier) it is very likely that the seat will not be functional. However, if the accident was moderate or even minor, things may be different.
If the accident was minor – If the crash did not result in substantial or moderate damage, there are several things that car owners can look for to determine whether a replacement is necessary, including:
- Cracks in the seat’s foundation
- Damage to harnesses
- Whether the door nearest to the safety seat was damaged
When in doubt, your could ask the person responsible for fixing your vehicle for an assessment.