In what some are calling a miracle, an 8-month-old survived a highway crash after being ejected from the vehicle and rolling into a storm drain.
The incident allegedly began when a truck sideswiped the family’s car on Interstate 30 near Texarkana, Arkansas. The car flipped and the unrestrained 8-month-old girl flew from the vehicle. The survivors of the collision initially searched for her, but could not find her among the wreckage.
Once rescuers arrived, a more thorough scouring of the area began. It was during this search they heard a sound along the median. To everyone’s amazement, rescuers found the infant caught in a storm drain some twenty-five feet from the roadway. Three firefighters freed her. The worst of her sustained injuries consisted of a scratch along her forehead.
One of the rescuers, Texarkana Fire Captain Charlie Smith, was quick to point out the rarity of the situation. “So many times, we go out and things aren’t OK… and just during the holidays here to have a positive just feels good.”
Importance of Proper Car Seat Installation
Despite this baby miraculously surviving a car accident, that is rarely the case. Vehicular collisions continue to be the leading cause of death for children. Furthermore, research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that vehicular restraining devices overwhelmingly provide the best protection. Restraining children in rear seats instead of front seats further reduces the risk of fatal injuries by nearly 75% for children up to the age of three and 50% for those children between ages 4 and 8.
But it takes more than just buying the correct car seat. They need correct, safe installation. It’s estimated 4 out of 5 car seats are incorrectly installed. This severely undermining their effectiveness at protecting children in the event of an accident.
Parents should begin by thoroughly reading the manufacturer’s instructions for a child car seat or booster seat. They should also consider having it checked at an official inspection station. The California Highway Patrol provides a list of other online resources, including an instructional video demonstrating proper car seat installation.
On January 1, 2017, a new California law regarding child safety will take effect. On and after this date, all children under the ages of 2 years old must be riding in a rear-facing child safety seat in the vehicle’s back seat. There are special stipulations for those drivers of trucks without rear seating. This previously law regulated only up to age 1.