Motor-vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among children in the United States. In an effort to prevent these grievous tragedies, Iowa legislators passed a law that mandates the use of child restraint systems.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car seats reduce the risk of death to infants by 71 percent and to toddlers by 54 percent. More than one-third of children ages 12 and younger who died in accidents in 2015 were not properly restrained.
Unfortunately, car seats and booster seats cannot prevent all injuries. If your child was hurt in a collision with a negligent driver in Iowa, contact Eells & Tronvold Law Offices, PLC.
Although no amount of money can undo such a tragedy, you may be able to recover compensation to pay for your child’s medical bills and other damages by filing a personal injury claim. Call 319-393-1020 today to schedule a free initial consultation with an injury lawyer in Cedar Rapids.
A Brief Overview of Iowa’s Child Seat Laws
Iowa’s car seat laws are outlined in Iowa Code 321.446. It is required by law for children up to age 1 who weigh less than 20 pounds to be secured in a rear-facing child seat. Children ages 1 to 5 must be secured in a child restraint system, which can be either a safety seat or a booster seat but not an adult seatbelt. Children ages 6 to 11 must be secured in either a child restraint system or an adult seatbelt.
The law requires the child restraint system to be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. The child seat must be properly secured to the vehicle.
Exceptions to Iowa’s Child Seat Laws
If you are driving a vehicle with a child who is not properly restrained, the police have probable cause to pull you over. Violating Iowa’s safety restraint laws is a misdemeanor offense, punishable by a $100 fine. However, there are certain exceptions to Iowa’s child seat laws. They do not apply to:
- Children who have a physical, mental, or medical disability that makes the use of a safety restraint inadvisable;
- Children who are riding a bus;
- Children who are riding on motorcycles;
- Children who are being transported in authorized emergency vehicles;
- Children who are being transported by on-duty peace officers; or
- Children who are riding in motor homes—unless they are in the front passenger seat.
Iowa’s safety restraint laws also do not apply if there is no seatbelt available because all other belts are being used.
Sadly, even if you abide by Iowa’s safety restraint laws, it is still possible for your child to suffer an injury in a collision with a negligent motorist. If your child was hurt by a drunk, distracted, or reckless driver in Iowa, contact Eells & Tronvold Law Offices, PLC to discuss your case.
Call 319-393-1020 to schedule a free initial consultation with an accident attorney in Cedar Rapids. If you would like to learn more about personal injury claims in Iowa, visit USAttorneys.com.