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Nov. 1 car seat laws to change

Whether shuttling your own kids to and from school or picking up their friends from soccer, when traveling with kids in the car we take extra care to drive safely. Making sure our child passengers are securely buckled in their seats may be part of the routine, but come Nov. 1 parents will have to get used to some changes in how they approach traveling with children.

A new Oklahoma car seat law is about to take affect that will hopefully drastically improve the safety of children if in a car accident. Beginning Nov. 1, all children under the age of two will be required to ride in a rear facing car seat. It has been a long time belief that keeping infants in rear facing seats helps prevent whip lash and other trauma to their delicate bodies if in a car accident. Prior to this change parents were given the option to turn children around to front facing once they reached a certain height and weight requirement. However, it is now suggested that it is safest to keep children rear facing until 2 years old regardless of size.

Another major change to child seat laws is the requirement that children from four to 8 years old must remain in some type of booster or child seat until they are at least four foot, 9 inches tall. At that point they may use a standard seat belt.

The purpose of these changes is to give infants and toddlers the best chance of surviving an auto accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, proper child seat practices reduce the chance of death for infants involved in accidents by an astounding 71 percent. For toddlers that are forward facing, proper child seat and belt use reduces the risk by half.

While traveling with children, we can't necessarily prevent others from driving recklessly, but we can do everything in our power to minimize the damage when other drivers do. These new child seat techniques may keep our young passengers safe. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident despite your best efforts to keep you and your family safe, consider speaking to an attorney.

Source: kfor.com, "New car seat law takes effect Nov. 1," Marianne Rafferty, Oct. 19, 2015

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