On June 13, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed into a law a bill requiring children under the age of 2 to ride in backwards-facing child seats when traveling in a vehicle. Previous law required only children under the age of 1 who weighed less than 20 pounds to ride in a rear-facing car seat.The new law would go into effect late summer, with violators facing fines. There is, however a one-year grace period during which officers will be issuing verbal warnings instead of fines.
Rear-facing child seats are considered to be safer than front-facing seats because in a crash, they distribute impact across the whole body instead of isolating the impact at the contact points of the restraint belt. Rear-facing child seats have been shown to be particularly helpful in protecting children in side-impact crashes.
Children can be particularly vulnerable to head and neck trauma in car accidents, in part because of the relative size and weight of their heads compared to the undeveloped musculature of the neck. By requiring rear-facing child seats for all children under the age of two, hopefully Pennsylvania will begin to see a reduction in the number of child deaths and injuries that happen each year as a result of car accidents.
Even the best restraint system can't prevent all injuries, however. If your child was injured in a car accident, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who can guide you through the process needed to secure compensation for medical bills and other expenses arising from the crash.