Mimesis Law
11 July 2020

Car Seat Health Crisis? Make It A Felony

May 27, 2016 (Mimesis Law) — We have a full fledged “public health crisis” on our hands,  according to the Center for Auto Safety in Washington, DC.  Car seats, the bastion of automotive child safety, are failing our children, and they’re dying as a result of this “criminal” negligence.  There’s only one solution to this problem:  If car seat manufacturers cannot create a car seat easy enough to install by someone who isn’t a rocket scientist, they should be found criminally negligent.

Safety advocates say automakers and regulators have acted with “criminal” negligence in failing to remedy a long-acknowledged auto safety flaw that watchdogs say has played a role in hundreds of deaths, creating a “public health crisis.”

At issue are car seats that malfunction and collapse backward when a car is rear-ended. The impact of the crash and collapsing seat can cripple or kill drivers, as well as passengers in the back seat, in many cases, children. (Emphasis added.)

It’s not surprising car seats might “malfunction and collapse backward” in any circumstance.  Most of them are difficult enough to install, requiring an advanced degree in engineering according to the assembly instructions. The amount of “insert locking mechanism A into slot B” jargon in most car seat manuals is enough to make an IKEA junkie tear out their hair. Yet this is good enough for the people in charge of making sure our children are safe on the road.

Parents already have to worry enough about their children’s daily conduct. The last thing with which they need to be concerned is someone telling them a potentially hazardous situation facing their children is their own doing.  Yet child “experts” don’t want to see car seat manufacturers held liable for their negligence in creating these infuriating devices.  It’s easier to blame the parents, illiteracy, or low economic status.

“Car seats are more difficult to use than people give them credit for,” says Dr. Alisa Baer, a pediatrician and certified child passenger safety instructor. “Most parents don’t even read the instruction manual that comes with a car seat.”

Factors leading to errors in use included lower socio-economic status, lower education attainment and low levels of English literacy.

It’s lunacy. Do we need to create a new “certified class” of experts teaching people how to install and use car seats.  Humanity isn’t as stupid as some would like you to believe.  Yet the failure to make a car seat easily installable already means people have faced murder charges for incorrect installation of child safety seats.  Why not hold the makers of these infuriating devices liable, criminally so, for creating the problem leading to this alleged “public health crisis?”

The answer is simple.  Stop the madness now by making sure those who create child safety seats don’t fashion them in a manner creating a “public health crisis.”  Instead of investigating Russian doping at sporting events, let’s see the DoJ investigate why ReCaro can’t make a seat that takes less than half an hour to install.  Furthermore, let’s create a “Task Force” devoted to figuring out a way to charge each manufacturer with murder every time a child dies from a car seat issue.

Think of the children.  Is that too much to ask?

11 Comments on this post.

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  • Windypundit
    27 May 2016 at 7:34 pm - Reply


    • CLS
      27 May 2016 at 10:08 pm - Reply

      It’s called a joke.

      • Windypundit
        29 May 2016 at 8:19 pm - Reply

        It’s really hard to tell. “Think of the children,” tags it as parody, but the rest is so dead on… Poe’s law definitely applies.

  • sirnephilim
    28 May 2016 at 3:58 am - Reply

    Speaking as a parent who just this week had his second child and, in the attempt to install a car seat threw his bloody back out tightening the thing, I’m for at least a little punitive regulation here. And speaking as well as a person with an advanced degree in engineering, there does seem to be a certain lack of finesse regarding the design of the latches and interlocking systems in most newborn car seats.

    Suffice it to say that at 6’3″ and 225 pounds it took literally everything I had to tighten a car seat to the point that it wasn’t floating around with a minimum of force, and my three-days-post-caeserian-section wife would not have been able to accomplish that task.

  • Links #308 | The Honest Courtesan
    29 May 2016 at 6:02 am - Reply

    […] Solution to “public health crises” used to be vaccination; now it’s prison. […]

  • The Maggie McNeill Incident – Mediation is Dead
    29 May 2016 at 6:55 pm - Reply

    […] at Fault Lines I usually post something I find funny or interesting.  This week’s post was a “suggestion” we make it a felony should a car seat manufacturer create a child safety seat that’s so […]

  • PaulMurrayCbr
    30 May 2016 at 12:04 am - Reply

    Some people just don’t get that some things are difficult to do. That making a device that is both a) able to protect an infant in an accident; and at the same time b) easy for any mouth-breathing dumbass to install, might just be impossible.

    This same mentality is responsible for the prosecution of those italian scientists for not predicting an earthquake. What happened? They lost their earthquake scientists.

    God, I hope this is intentional irony in a “modest proposal” vein.

    You want to lock up the scientists for not predicting an earthquake? You predict ’em, then. You design the infant car capsules. And you go to jail if you don’t get it exactly right, or if some illiterate has trouble with the instructions. You may discover that it isn’t as simple as you thought.

    • DaveL
      31 May 2016 at 9:42 am - Reply

      Yes, my first thought upon reading this article is that these days, we expect that our vehicles can be involved in high-speed collisions from almost any angle without causing injury to small children within. When you stop to think about it, this is rather counter-intuitive and definitely a recent development.

    • not an anon
      31 May 2016 at 10:15 am - Reply

      Given that LATCH/ISOFIX anchors are widespread in the vehicle fleet these days — it seems that the European-style rigid-attachment ISOFIX system would be the closest you could come to that — basically, it’s two rigid arms with clips on the end that stick out of the back of the seat and grab onto the lower anchor points. How much easier do you want it?

  • SteveK
    30 May 2016 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    I’m pretty sure the author is confused about the issue. The initial link that introduces the article is about automobile seats, not child safety seats. The crisis is not that child safety seats malfunction, either because of bad design or improper installation. It is because the driver or passenger seat fails, and children are killed or injured by being hit or crushed by the failing seat, and the person in it.

  • bigdan312
    13 June 2016 at 2:36 am - Reply

    I don’t know where the author is from, but where I live, we don’t install the seats in the car ourselves. That’s done at the factory. And while that may be difficult, I would hope that the auto manufacturers train their employees on the proper way to install them, which is what the first quote is about rather than about child safety seats installed by parents as is misleadingly suggested by the author.

    And if there is some sort of fundamental flaw with manufacturer installed automobile seats, then an investigation isn’t the kind of thing that’s out of the question, especially since it’s been made clear by some car manufacturers that they will delay notification of the public or outright hide any evidence of such flaws.

    And even the link to the mother charged for “installing” a car seat “incorrectly” was charged not because she installed it incorrectly but because she put it in the front seat. We can argue as to whether she should have known better or whether that rises to a criminal act (the fact that both my car and my child’s car seat have warning stickers saying not to do that could be a factor), but no one would consider the car seat manufacturer to be at fault since they do warn against front-seat installation of child safety seats and even a properly anchored child safety seat in the front seat of many cars would remain a potentially deadly hazard, which is why the warning stickers say not to do it. At what point does ignoring something that is the subject of warning stickers on both vehicles and child safety seats rise to the level of criminal negligence?