Car Seat Replacement after a Crash

Safety experts and many child restraint manufacturers recommend that you replace your child’s restraint system following any crash, even a minor crash. You may wish to visit the NHTSA web site at for background information on this recommendation.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that you replace your child’s restraint following a moderate or severe crash.  NHTSA characterizes a minor crash as a crash that meets ALL of the following criteria:

  • The vehicle was able to be driven away from the crash site
  • The vehicle door nearest the child restraint was undamaged
  • There were no injuries to any of the vehicle occupants
  • The airbags (if present) did not deploy
  • There is no visible damage to the safety seat

Consider contacting the child restraint manufacturer after being involved in a crash. The manufacturer will advise you as to their recommendation for replacing the restraint. Occasionally restraint manufacturers will offer to replace a crashed restraint. Generally, replacement is at the manufacturer’s option, and is limited to seats that have been involved in more severe crashes. The replacement typically follows the return of the damaged restraint to the manufacturer. Manufacturers often like to examine seats involved in “real world” crashes, as this can be helpful in the research, development and design of future restraints.

Auto insurance may cover the cost of replacing your child restraint. Check with your insurance agent to determine if the cost of replacing the restraint can be included in your claim.  Please contact Lexlee Overton – Injury Lawyer at 225. 761.7272 if you need assistance with this process. Remember to completely destroy a crashed car seat before throwing it out or contact a child passenger safety technician in your area for disposal.  The moment you throw your damaged seat out on the curb, someone will come by and pick it up for their child.  Your trash may SEEM to be someone’s treasure.

***Don’t forget to inquire about replacing seatbelts, LATCH hardware & other safety components after a crash. Some strain is visible, but not all. Systems may fail after crash forces have been applied.

A Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) can help you select the appropriate replacement restraint for your child’s age, weight and height.  Installation assistance is available FREE of charge, so schedule and appointment today! Join hands with Lexlee’s Kids in caring for your kid’s safety. If you have questions or comments about car seats or child safety, post here or contact Lexlee’s Kids at 225.372.3991.


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