Local News

Troopers Take Closer Look at Car Seats

Posted September 12, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

Trooper D.P. Tofoya finds a broken bracket on this car seat.

— If they are installed correctly, they can be a lifesaver, but odds are that the child safety seat in your car has a problem.

The Insurance Department says that 80% of child safety seats are incorrectly installed. Now the N.C. Highway Patrol wants to improve your child's chances of surviving a car crash.

Like any caring mother, Lisa Moss wants her little girl to be protected. That's why she invested in a car seat for Tabitha. But like most safety seats being driven around the country, Moss's seat isn't installed correctly.

Most car seats are missing a bracket that would keep the seatbelt from coming loose. One missing bracket may sound minor, but safety inspectors say that even the smallest flaw can render a car seat completely useless. So, the Highway Patrol is training every trooper in every county to look for car seat problems.

The fact is, most of us try to put the seats in the right way, but we leave out some important details. The main reason probably won't surprise you. Most of us feel like we're in a rush from the time we get up until the time we go to bed at night. Not enough time is spent reading manuals to do the job right.

Trooper D.P. Tafoya says that car-seat safety starts by reading the owner's manual.

Whatever the reason, car seats can't work if they're not installed correctly. Hundreds of newly trained troopers will make it a point to see that from now on, they are.

If you have some questions about your own car seat, you can find some answers at your local health department. Most departments hold periodic child seat classes.

andKerrie Hudzinski