Minor accidents may not require a replacement seat, if ALL of the following conditions are met:
- The vehicle was able to be driven away from the crash site
- The vehicle door nearest the safety seat was undamaged
- There were no injuries to any of the vehicle occupants
- The air bags (if present) did not deploy
- There is no visible damage to the safety seat (source National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
We didn't have a spare $100+ to get her a new seat, so I was checking out some online resources to see if she would really be safe in just a booster seat (the short answer? no). While I was reading up on boosters, though, I found out about the replacement guidelines.
Adam had been involved in a car accident a few months ago, so we went to see our insurance agent whether a new seat would be covered under our policy. As it turns out, the accident fit into the "minor" category described above. However, we did have the back window of our car broken over the summer, with much of the glass falling into the car seat. When we had the window replaced, the technician vacuumed out the seat and we didn't think anything of it. Turns out we should have replaced the seat then.
So, yesterday afternoon was spent car seat shopping. We were able to find a seat that fits much better--and has room to grow. On Monday, we're taking our old seat in to the insurance agents' for disposal. It feels good to be safe!