Auto Accidents and Chiropractic
Car Seats and Seat Belt Use After a Crash
By Matthew DeGaetano, DC
Car Seat Use After a Crash
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that car seats be replaced following a moderate or severe crash in order to ensure a continued high level of crash protection for child passengers. Car seats do not automatically need to be replaced following a minor crash.
What defines a minor crash?
A minor crash is one in which ALL of the following apply:
- The vehicle was able to be driven away from the crash site.
- The vehicle door nearest the car seat was not damaged.
- None of the passengers in the vehicle sustained any injuries in the crash.
- If the vehicle has air bags, the air bags did not deploy during the crash; and
- There is no visible damage to the car seat.
Seat Belt Use After a Crash
From: HONDA CIVIC SEDAN OWNER’S MANUAL
The owner’s manual for the Honda Civic states the following on page 22:
“Additional Information About Your Seat Belts”
If a seat belt is worn during a crash, IT MUST BE REPLACED BY THE
DEALER. A belt that has been worn during a crash may not provide the same level of protection in a subsequent crash.
The dealer should also inspect the anchors for damage and replace them it needed.
If the AUTOMATIC SEAT BELT TENSIONERS ACTIVATE DURING A
CRASH, THEY MUST BE REPLACED…
NOT CHECKING OR MAINTAINING SEAT BELTS CAN RESULT IN
SERIOUS INJURY OR DEATH IF THE SEAT BELTS DO NOT WORK
PROPERLY WHEN NEEDED…”
HONDA CIVIC SEAT BELT
The Honda Civic Seat Belt Installation Instructions state the following:
“For replacement under warranty
If part of a new seat belt system fails under normal operation, replace only the component that has failed. After replacement, check the entire system for proper operation.
For replacement after a collision, or for replacement of older belts replace all components of any seat belt system that was in use during a collision. Even components that appear to be undamaged may have received enough stress to now be unreliable. On older belts, replace all components if any part fails due to normal deterioration.
For all replacements
This booklet describes seat belt replacement and test procedures. Refer to the appropriate service manual for procedures on removing related trim parts.”