The Sydney Morning Herald has reported on the tragic death of an 11 month-old boy in a car crash in suburban Lurnea. According to police, there is evidence suggesting the boy was in the driver’s lap at the time of the accident and that he sustained injuries “consistent with being struck by the airbag”.
When I was a baby, I was carried around in a wicker bassinet which was just plonked on the back seat of the family car whenever we went anywhere. Those were the bad old days before seat belts, air bags and breathalysers when upwards of 3,500 people died each year in car accidents. The road toll is now about one third of what it was back in the late 1960s and 70s but this truly awful accident is a reminder that we should never be complacent and should never forget the national child restraint laws:
Use of restraints:
- Children up to the age of six months must be secured in an approved restraint that faces towards the back of the car
- Children aged between six months and four years of age must be secured in either a rear or forward facing approved child restraint with an inbuilt harness
- Children aged between four and seven years of age must be secured in a forward facing approved child restraint with an inbuilt harness or an approved booster seat
- Children aged from seven years old but under 16 years old who are too small to be restrained by a seatbelt properly adjusted and fastened are strongly recommended to use an approved booster seat
Children in booster seats must be restrained by a suitable lap and sash type approved seatbelt that is properly adjusted and fastened, or by a suitable approved child safety harness that is properly adjusted and fastened.
If your child is too small for the child restraint specified for their age, they should be kept in their current child restraint until it is safe for them to move to the next level.
If your child is too large for the child restraint specified for their age, they may move to the next level of child restraint.
Kids in the front seat
- Children under four years of age cannot travel in the front seat of a vehicle if that vehicle has two or more rows
- Children aged from four years old but under seven years old cannot travel in the front seat of a vehicle if that vehicle has two or more rows, unless all other back seats are occupied by children younger than seven years in an approved child restraint or booster seat
The NSW Government’s motor accident insurance and compensation scheme can offer the following assistance for the family of the deceased little boy as follows:
- The family would be entitled to the reasonable costs of the boy’s funeral;
- The close family would be entitled to counselling, income support and other treatment expenses for at least 6 months regardless of which of the two drivers was at fault;
- Some close family members may be entitled to lump sum common law damages depending on which of the two drivers was at fault and depending on the nature and extent of any psychiatric injury sustained as a result of the accident.
If you or anyone you know is injured has been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. For more information, and to arrange a free, no-obligation assessment of your claim, please call Stacks Goudkamp on 1800 46 2359, or alternatively make an online enquiry
Written by Belinda Cassidy
Belinda Cassidy holds the position of Special Counsel at Stacks Goudkamp. She had previously held the position of Principal Claims Assessor at the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) for 18 years, and currently holds an appointment as a Claims Assessor under the Motor Accidents Compensation Act.