A new piece of legislation that was passed by the Oregon House of Representatives aims to protect children in the event of car accidents. If signed into law, it clarifies the rules regarding car seats in general, and would require children under two to be placed in rear facing car seats.
Oregon House Bill 3404
Oregon House Bill 3404 was passed by the house on April 10, 2017, one of the first steps in being passed into law. It will next be considered by the Senate, after public hearings in early May. It addresses a wide range of highway safety concerns relating to children and minors under 16 years of age, and important elements of the bill include:
- Parents have a legal responsibility to ensure safety belts are in use;
- Car seats must be used for children under 40 pounds, under four feet nine inches in height, or under eight years of age;
- Children under the age of two or under 20 pounds must be properly secured in rear facing car seats; and
- Children must be properly secured, which means using a state approved safety car seat that meets minimum safety standards and guidelines established by the Oregon Department of Transportation.
This extends to time limits for using rear facing seats, which the DOT advises is currently required for children under the age of one. These seats have been found safer in protecting young children against head or spine injuries, and can reduce the risk of damage to internal organs caused by collisions in which they are restrained by safety belts alone.
How Parents Can Protect Against Car Accidents and Injuries
In addition to using a car seat and seat belts to protect your child, there are actions parents as drivers can take to help prevent car accidents and injuries. These include:
- Avoid speeding or driving too fast for conditions;
- Use caution when approaching intersections and watch for drivers who may run stop signs or traffic lights;
- Avoid aggressive driving behaviors such as tailgating, weaving between lanes, improper passing, and failing to yield;
- Drive defensively. Avoid distractions such as talking on cellphones, texting. Keep your eyes on the road, your hands on the wheel, and be alert for changes in traffic, road, and weather conditions;
- Plan ahead when driving. Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained, keep an emergency kit with bottled water, snacks, and extra clothing or blankets, and make sure your cell phone is charged.
The above actions can help protect you and your passengers against situations involving road rage, aggressive driving, driving under the influence, and other dangers you could face on the road.
Contact Our Portland Personal Injury Attorneys Today
At the Johnston Law Firm, protecting you and your family is our top priority. If an accident does occur, contact our car accident attorneys right away to get the professional legal representation you need. today. Serving Portland and the surrounding areas, we fight for your rights, so you can get the compensation your family needs to recover.