When seating their child in the car, there are things that every parent or guardian should know. First, Utah’s state laws mandate that all children under the age of 13 sit in a rear seat. Additionally, parents must restrain children under one year in a rear-facing child seat.
Once a child has outgrown the rear-facing seat (usually at 1 – 3 years old), they can move on to a forward-facing one. The driver should always follow manufacturer guidelines on safe weight and height restrictions, as this can vary by model and ensure that they are using them correctly.
According to the CDC, vehicular accidents are the leading cause of death and injury for children under 12 in the US. The same source indicates that drivers use 20% of booster seats and 59% of child seats incorrectly.
Once the child outgrows the front-facing seat, parents should use booster seats until the child is over 4′ 9″ tall and can pass the Seat Belt Fit Test.
There are five steps to pass this test:
- First, the shoulder belt must pass between the neck and shoulder.
- The child’s lower back must be against the vehicle seat.
- The lap belt must remain on the thighs and across the hip bones.
- Fourth, the child’s knees must bend at the end of the seat.
- Finally, the child must be comfortable riding like this for the entire journey.
Car accident attorneys at Robert J. DeBry & Associates, value the safety of all passengers. Should a child be involved injured or in an accident, a car accident attorney at Robert J. DeBry & Associates can assist.