Car Seat in Minor Accident

Updated on February 14, 2012
T.B. asks from Round Rock, TX
18 answers

I was in a minor accident this week. I was rear ended but at a very low speed. Only minor damage was done to my back bumper. Luckily my kids were not in the car at the time. I've been told any time you are involved in an accident and car seats are installed they need to be replaced. I think this is a little silly considering the situation. I could see if it was a more serious accident but don't really know. I don't see how the functioning or safety of the car seats could have been impacted. Any thoughts?

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D.M.

answers from Houston on

Just replace it:) You dont' want to run the risk of there being something wrong with it and you not knowing, no matter how minor the accident was:)

D.
moms helping moms work from home:)
http://www.formyrugrats.com

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P.H.

answers from Austin on

If it were me, I know I'd keep mine. I used my son's first forward facing carseat for all three of my boys, even though they have expiration dates stamped on them. If installed correctly and not damaged it just seems wasteful to trash and start over...but that's just my opinion. I'm just glad you use carseats! You wouldn't believe how many kids I see every day climbing around the backseat unbuckled. Crazy!

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S.L.

answers from Austin on

Here's what I found from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

"NHTSA recommends that child safety seats be replaced following a moderate or severe crash in order to ensure a continued high level of crash protection for child passengers.

NHTSA recommends that child safety seats do not automatically need to be replaced following a minor crash.

Minor crashes are those that meet ALL of the following criteria:

The vehicle was able to be driven away from the crash site;

The vehicle door nearest the safety seat 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 safety seat

Clarifying the need for child seat replacement will reduce the number of children unnecessarily riding without a child safety seat while a replacement seat is being acquired, and the number of children who will have to ride without a child seat if a seat were discarded and not replaced. The clarification will also reduce the financial burden of unnecessary replacement."

I have also heard though that insurance will cover the cost of a car seat should you actually need to replace the seat.

Hope this helps!
S.

1 mom found this helpful
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J.M.

answers from San Antonio on

My child was not in the car seat and I had a front impact hit and the other insurance company paid to replace the car seat. If you were to have another accident and your child was in the car and something went wrong and they found out you had another accident and did not replace the carseat they may not cover any damages...let the insurance replace it and give yours to a worthy cause. Ask YOUR insurance company what their guidelines are. My best friend is an insurance adjuster and that was her advice...

1 mom found this helpful
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M.G.

answers from Knoxville on

I was in a very minor non-traffic accident this morning. I was on the phone with my insurance and they told me that the car seats would be replaced. Even though the only damage done was to my rear bumper, they want you to replace the car seats so there is no concern that if by some strange chance, something was jarred lose in the seat the child would not be harmed if in another accident.

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J.M.

answers from Odessa on

T.,

Shame on the person who advised you to get a new carseat for your own, but pass on the possibly damaged one to a "worthy cause". As your insurance provider will advise you, it is not worth risking the life of a child. I was in a low speed crash and I had 2 carseats in my vehicle, no children in them. My insurance insisted on replacing the carseats. The carseat manufacturer will also advise you that the carseat should be destroyed and replaced. As evident in the damage to your vehicle, even a low speed crash can cause unseen damage to the carseat leaving a possible risk of malfunction in a subsequent, low speed, or worse, high speed crash. My insurance required that I take my carseats in to the adjuster where they destroyed the carseat by cutting the harness and disposing of the seat altogether. You pay your premiums every month to protect you and your property in an accident. Do not risk the safety of your child. Another thing to consider here, is to never buy a carseat from an unknown person (garage sale, Craig’s list, Ebay, etc.) You can’t be certain the carseat you are purchasing isn’t being “passed on” after being in an accident.
J.

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R.M.

answers from Houston on

I expect the issue is the same as your seat belts when you are in an accident. If the accident is major, the seat belts of the people you are belted in have stretched, and must be replaced by law.

If your kids weren't in the car their bodies weren't being restrained by the straps and wouldn't be affected.

I could be wrong...but this is what my common sense is telling me.

K.B.

answers from Houston on

Hi T.-

I agree that they are probably fine, however we were involved in a car accident that was the other driver's fault and we were able to get their insurance to pay to replace the carseat. If you're concerned, you could try to get this paid for if the other driver is at fault.

Good Luck,
K.

A.J.

answers from Killeen on

the rule of thumb is if you walked away from the accident, the car seats are fine =)

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S.N.

answers from Houston on

Coming from a a mothers point of view and coming from someone who has sat in on car seat training fromt he police department and fire department. If you were in an accident no matter how small or serious. Car seats must be replaced. You never know if there is a crack in the car seat that you can not see. I recommend that you have it replaced and your insurance company or the other drivers insurance company should replace them.

I have replaced mine once before, I told thought it was silly butyou just do not know is the car seat received damaged from the force of the energy going thru your vehicle.

Be safe and not sorry...

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S.O.

answers from San Antonio on

Take your car seat out and take the cover off. Look for any strain on straps, metal, and plastic areas. We did this once and found several strained areas on the plastic - the plastic was very white at certain spots like it had been bent, etc. Big clue that it had weakened. If your kid wasn't in it, then there wouldn't be any weight straining it I wouldn't think. But, check it out for yourself to see if anything looks weaker. It's always better to be safe than sorry. But, I don't think you have cause to concern if there are no weakened areas.

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S.M.

answers from Austin on

25 mph is how fast the impact needs to be to have the seats replaced. Insurance should pay to replace them. Plus, if they really are defective, is it worth the risk? This is your child's life!

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H.B.

answers from San Antonio on

you need to turn that in to your insurance company along with the total damages. they should cut you a check to buy new ones or something like that. call your insurance. i know usaa will reimburse us. it happened 2 years ago my two babies were in the car and got in a very minor accident at a yeild sign ( the car behind us did not yeild so he hit us and drove away!) i went to buy 2 new carseats and usaa deposited the reimbursement in my checking acct. after i submited my reciept. i definately suggest you call the insurance company.

L.B.

answers from Corpus Christi on

Go by the fire department and have them check the placement and security of the car seat. They should be able to tell you what you need to do.

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C.W.

answers from Waco on

Hi T.,
Nonsense- check them for security and if they seem tight and ok then do not replace them- they are still safe.
blessings

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D.M.

answers from Houston on

Just replace it:) You dont' want to run the risk of there being something wrong with it and you not knowing, no matter how minor the accident was:)

D.
moms helping moms work from home:)
http://www.formyrugrats.com

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W.C.

answers from San Antonio on

I think that it is more if the carseat was in use during the impact because the plastic or metal fasteners can be weakened. I wouldn't worry about it since they were not being used. If you are worried, you can go to a check point and have it inspected.

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A.D.

answers from Longview on

Same thing happened to me this morning. My understanding is that you do have to replace your car seat, even if the accident was minor. If the accident was not your fault, the driver at fault (or their insurance company) will reimburse you for the purchase. I think you just have to go ahead and buy a new carseat and take the receipt to your insurance company.

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P.H.

answers from Austin on

If it were me, I know I'd keep mine. I used my son's first forward facing carseat for all three of my boys, even though they have expiration dates stamped on them. If installed correctly and not damaged it just seems wasteful to trash and start over...but that's just my opinion. I'm just glad you use carseats! You wouldn't believe how many kids I see every day climbing around the backseat unbuckled. Crazy!

S.T.

answers from Houston on

I don't think they need to be replaced. If children were in the seats then stress from the impact would have possibly damaged the harnesses ect but you wouldn't be able to see it with the naked eye. I was in a roll over and decided to replace all seats because of the vehicle damage. The insurance paid to replace all of them, even the ones not in use!!! I got 6 new BRITAX seats (only two of them were originally Britax.) They told me to buy the seats and send them the receipts and they paid me back.

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