This is a question which hopefully never has to cross our minds. However, when you consider the fact that there are around 190,000 road accident casualties (of varying severity/age) in the UK each year, being involved in an accident is not as uncommon as you may think.
If you have been involved in a car collision when there was a car seat in the car, the safest answer to this question is yes, you should replace the car seat(s). This is as true for a collision with your children involved as it is with a car seat that was empty at the time of impact. Many parents are usually under the assumption that if your child hasn’t sustained any serious injury and if the seat looks to be in the same shape and condition as before, the seat will be ok.
This isn’t strictly true. Although you may not be able to see any visible damage from the outside, it may have been weakened on crash impact, to the extent that it can no longer provide the same level of protection. When it comes to kids, we believe that safety is priceless so you should always consider replacing the seat. When making an insurance claim, be sure to include the cost of the replacement seat in your claim, meaning you don’t have to fork out for what can often be an expensive but necessary replacement.
Exceptions to the rule
There are of course, exceptions to every rule, and it may be that your seat doesn’t need to be replaced. If the crash occurred at a very low speed impact, or if there was little to no external damage to the car, the impact may not have had an effect on the seat. However even in these circumstances we would advise checking with the manufacturer, as they often give advice as to the circumstances which would require you to replace a car seat.
Safe over sorry
Our stance is that we would rather be safe than sorry, so would always replace the seat. In addition, we believe that protecting your children in the best possible way is the way forward when choosing a car seat after a collision. This is why we would recommend purchasing a huggybelt alongside any replacement group 2/3 car seat as this lowers the risk of your child sustaining serious injury in the event of a crash by 45%. By ensuring the seat belt is positioned correctly across your child’s body we are able to minimise this risk by almost half. So if you’re looking to replace your car seat, either due to a collision or change in weight/height, consider purchasing a huggybelt too.