In the United States, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among children, accounting for approximately 20% of all fatalities. When parents use an appropriate child safety car seat or booster seat to restrain a child in a moving vehicle, this statistic is drastically reduced.
Infant seats are designed for infants who weigh less than 22 pounds and are shorter than 25 inches. When these seats are properly installed in the back seat of a vehicle, the infant faces the rear of the vehicle. Typically, infant seats have a base that remains in the vehicle while the carrier can be removed. These carriers are easily compatible with stroller components.
It is crucial that infant seats never be installed facing forward or in the front passenger seat. Front passenger seats typically contain side airbags that pose a grave risk to infants if deployed. When facing the rear of the vehicle, the seat has less room to move in the event of a severe collision.
Convertible Child Safety Seats
Child safety seats that are convertible can be used for both infants and toddlers. When using a convertible seat for an infant, the rear-facing position is required. Even though it is not required by law, most manufacturers recommend that a child’s safety is enhanced by keeping him or her facing the rear for as long as possible, given height and weight requirements.
The seat can be repositioned to face the front of the vehicle as the child matures from infancy to toddlerhood. Never place the seat in the front passenger seat of the vehicle. Typically, convertible child safety seats are used until the child weighs about 40 pounds.
When a child has outgrown a convertible child seat, a booster seat may be used. Booster seats are used until a child is old enough to utilise an adult restraint system. Booster seats are typically used for children who weigh between 40 and 80 pounds, are between 4 and 8 years old, and are no taller than approximately 4 feet 9 inches. Never use a lap belt by itself with a booster seat; this is crucial.
In New York, the fine for not using a child safety seat or not adhering to general safety belt regulations is $50. However, the fine can be increased to $100 if a child under the age of 16 is improperly restrained in a vehicle according to their height and weight. In addition, a violation will result in the addition of three points to the driver’s licence.
In addition, New York recently enacted legislation mandating that all front-seat passengers wear seatbelts. The new laws became effective in November of 2020.
A Note About Built-In Car Seats
There are automobiles with built-in car seats. When examining these, ensure that they adhere to all federal safety protocols. Additionally, you must read the owner’s manual and understand when and how to use these car seats correctly. These car seats may not be suitable for children of all ages.
Safety is a concern for everyone. The terrain of laws and regulations governing child restraint systems in motor vehicles can be challenging to comprehend. In addition, these systems can be difficult to install and properly operate. Bring your questions and concerns about defective child safety seats to a reputable attorney if you need assistance understanding the law or if you have trouble understanding the law.
For additional information, please contact our law office at (212) 514-5007 or sen
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