Child passenger safety laws are put in place for one reason, to protect young children during an automobile accident. In California, there are strict fines for violating child safety seat laws and they are being strictly enforced. These laws can change at any time, so it is important for all parents to stay informed in order to prevent personal injury to their children.
Know Your Resources to Prevent Child Injury
Parents now have many resources to help them protect their children in the car. As an advocate for passenger safety, Sacramento auto accident attorney Frank Penney recommends visiting websites like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for information about which seats are best for your child, as well as installation and safety tips. Also, most police and fire stations will install or inspect a seat for you.
Child Passenger Safety Law Requirements
The year 2012 brought on a lot of changes in the way young passengers travel. Laws now require that a child rides in the back seat of the vehicle until the age of 8 and a height of a least 4’9”. However, a child under the age of 8 who is 4’9” can use a regular seat belt without a booster seat. It is also recommended that children ride in the back until the age of 12 and that you keep your child in the car or booster seat for as long as possible, up to the maximum requirements of the seat.
2013 Additions to California Child Passenger Safety Laws
The 2012 child safety passenger laws are still in effect, however there is an addition set forth to increase knowledge on the subject. Starting in January 2013, a bill passed by Governor Jerry Brown states that the parents or guardians of any child that meets the requirements of these laws must be given information on child passenger safety before leaving a hospital or medical center.
Proper Use Saves Lives
Seat belts are not effective unless they fit properly. Properly fitting seat belts have a lap belt that lays over the top of the thighs, not over the stomach; and a shoulder belt that goes over the shoulder and chest, not the neck or face. Most children under the age of 8 do not meet the height requirement of 4’9” that is needed in order for a seat belt to fit properly.
Sadly, auto accidents are the number one cause of deaths in children between the ages of 1 and 12. In some of these cases, the proper use of car safety seats could have prevented death. Contact Sacramento auto accident attorney Frank Penney for a free case evaluation if your child has suffered a personal injury from an auto accident