ROAD TO ZERO

Vehicle Safety Guidelines Urged After 4-Year-Old Killed By Airbag

Jan 31, 2019, 8:07 PM | Updated: 11:19 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Vehicle safety advocates have shared a critical reminder for parents after a young boy was killed in a tragic car crash in South Jordan.

Four-year-old D’mondre Brown was killed in a fender-bender involving three cars on the South Jordan Parkway Wednesday – the kind of crash that is rarely deadly.

Investigators with the South Jordan Police Department said the boy was in the front seat with a seatbelt on. It was the deployment of the airbag that caused Brown’s fatal injuries.

Advocates with Road to Zero Fatalities spoke with KSL Thursday. They reminded parents to always make sure their child is properly restrained for their age.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car seats and booster seats can reduce the risk of fatal injury in a crash by more than 70 percent for infants, and 54 percent for toddlers.

They recommended children under 13 sit in the back seat, away from air bags.

“The passenger side airbag can actually deploy between 150 and 200 mph,” said Katie Marble, a Zero Fatalities safety advocate.

Utah State law mandates that children up eight years old be restrained in a car seat or booster seat, even if their parents think they’re big enough.

“We often see that young children are actually out of the booster seat much too early for the proper fit of a seatbelt,” she said.

Seatbelts are designed to cross the strongest bones in our bodies. Until the child is taller than 4 feet 9 inches, the seatbelt will not fit properly without a booster seat.

MORE: 4-Year-Old Died From Injuries Sustained In Airbag Deployment

“A seatbelt fitting a person correctly is when the lap portion sits across the upper thighs, close to the hip bones, and the shoulder strap is snug across the chest and does not hit their neck or their face,” said Marble.

The NHTSA said nearly half of all car seats are installed improperly.

Marble had advice for parents unsure of how to properly install their children’s car seats.

“Read the manual for the car seat,” she said. “There’s also a sticker on the side of the car seat somewhere that has clear specific instructions.”

Local health departments can also help parents with proper car seat installation.

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Vehicle Safety Guidelines Urged After 4-Year-Old Killed By Airbag