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I recently purchased a safety harness for buckling up my 3-year-old on aircrafts. Can I use this in my car to help keep her safe in the event of a Virginia car accident?

The harness that you mention is a relatively new option for parents to keep their children safe onboard aircraft, the AmSafe Aviation CARES. This harness-type restraint system is an alternative to the standard hard-backed child safety seat, and whether you rent or buy your own, it is much easier to travel with if your child is old enough to walk, but still needs the added protection onboard the plane.

The harness works in tandem with the traditional lap belt, but it is an additional strap that wraps fully around the seatback. A shoulder harness made for your small child (about 22 to 44 pounds) is attached to the strap and drops down to attach to the lap belt to fully secure your little one.

While these harnesses have been tested extensively to ensure that your child is kept safe in an aircraft, they have not been tested or approved for use in your car. Your 3-year-old is still the safest in a rear-facing child seat that has been tested for use in motor vehicles. Do not risk her safety in the event of a Virginia or district-area car accident with a restraint system that has not been proven in the mode of transportation that you are using.

On the other hand, if you chose to bring her car seat with you since you plan on driving or renting a car at your destination, make sure that your car seat has been approved for use in both motor vehicles and aircraft. Flight attendants and gate agents have an obligation to check the stickers and labels on your car seat. If the appropriate certifications are not clearly marked, you will have to gate check the seat.

No matter how carefully you research your child’s safety, you cannot protect her from a negligent driver. If she was injured in a crash, call the Virginia car accident attorneys of Lewis & Tompkins now at 202-296-0666. Our skilled and compassionate team will work diligently to get the compensation you deserve.