Every parent and guardian should know car seat laws in Georgia. Per Georgia’s Consumer Protection Division, all children under the age of eight must ride in a car seat or booster seat. There are several other child-related laws meant to protect children from danger.
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Additional Car Seat Laws in Georgia
Children who are under the age of eight and shorter than 57 inches must ride in the backseat of a vehicle. State law provides specific guidelines for specific car seats and booster seats. Parents should:
- Use a rear-facing infant seat for children up to one years old and up to 35 pounds. Parents of children weighing between 20 and 35 pounds should follow any specific instructions for heavier infants.
- Use a toddler seat for children between one and three years old and between 20 and 40 pounds. Toddler seats may face forward, and Georgia law emphasizes the 20 pound weight minimum.
- Use a booster seat for children between four and eight years old and weigh between 40 and 80 pounds. Children who fit this criteria but are 4’9” or taller may be safer in the regular seat with a seat belt, rather than in a booster seat.
Following these guidelines may keep your child safe in the event of a collision.
Specific Types of Children’s’ Seats That You May Choose From
When you purchase a car seat, you may have more options than “infant seat,” “toddler seat,” or “booster seat.” More specific options may include:
- Convertible seats: These seats may convert from a rear-facing infant seat to a forward-facing toddler seat.
- Combination seat: The next step in the convertible seat, a combination seat may transition from a toddler seat into a booster seat.
- All-in-one seat: This seat may convert through the entire spectrum—from infant seat, to toddler seat, to booster seat.
Booster seats may come in high-back and backless varieties. You should do the necessary research to find the right seat for your child. Knowledgeable salespeople may assist you as you search. Choosing the wrong seat for your child could defeat many of the seat’s safety purposes.
When in doubt, use Georgia’s car seat laws as a guideline for which seat to choose. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also offers car seat recommendations based on your child’s age and size.
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Other Considerations For Car Seats and Booster Seats in Georgia
When you put your child in a car seat or booster seat, you must ensure that:
- The car seat or booster seat is appropriate for your child’s height and weight
- The car seat is in safe condition
- You’ve properly installed the car seat or booster seat, according to the instructions
- The car seat or booster seat is facing the rear of the vehicle, if that is what the specific seat calls for
Proper installation of the child’s seat is key to the seat functioning as intended. If you’re unsure of how to install a child’s seat properly, seek assistance. You may even consider finding a different seat that you can install properly.
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What If a Vehicle Does Not Have a Backseat?
Children should generally sit in the backseat. However, if the vehicle lacks a back seat, you may generally place the child in the front seat only if you have the proper car seat and the child weighs at least 40 pounds.
Are There Any Other Safety Recommendations For Children in Motor Vehicles?
Georgia’s Consumer Protection Division also recommends that:
- Your children ride in the backseat until they reach the age of 13.
- You never hold a child in your lap or place a child seat in the front seat when you can avoid doing either of these things.
- Avoid used car seats if you can afford a new one.
- Always use best safety practices, even if you’re taking a short trip.
Obviously, but importantly, you should exercise extreme care when a child is in your vehicle. Developing body parts and brains may be vulnerable to injury. On the other hand, driving carefully may save your child from serious, potentially life-changing injuries.
What If Your Child Has Been in an Accident?
Accidents involving children are frightening for every parent. However, you have legal options if your child was in an accident – with or without you. A lawyer from our team will explain your options for seeking justice. Georgia’s civil justice system does not look favorably upon negligent drivers who harm children.
Call George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers Today About Your Child’s Accident
George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers have extensive experience with car accident cases. We proudly seek justice for victims of car accidents in Georgia, and we’ll seek a fair recovery for your child. If you’ve also suffered injuries, we’ll fight for you as well.
Call George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers today at (888) 612-7001 for a FREE consultation.
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