Every parent selecting or installing a car seat knows how serious that responsibility is. A car seat can make all the difference to your child’s safety in the event of an accident. There are plenty of examples in which children were able to survive even the most devastating of car accidents, all because their parents chose their car seats wisely and installed them properly.
Car seats make such a difference for child safety that laws have been enacted about them. When you don’t install the right kind of child car seat in your vehicle, you expose yourself to a violation of child car seat laws, in addition to placing your child in danger.
Understanding what is required by law can help you avoid fines and ensure that your child remains as safe as possible in the event of a car accident.
Missouri Child Car Seat Laws
Missouri child car seat laws cover the seats that are required over the first years of life for your children. Those laws include all of the following:
- Until your child reaches the age of 1 or weighs at least 20 pounds, Missouri law says they must remain in a rear-facing seat.
- Until your child reaches the age of 4 or weighs at least 40 pounds, the law says the child must be in an appropriate child passenger restraint system, usually a forward-facing seat.
- Between the ages of 4 and 7 and the weight of 40 to 80 pounds, or until they are over 4 feet 9 inches in height, the law says your child must be secured in an appropriate child passenger restraint system or booster seat.
- From the age of 8 onward and when more than 80 pounds in weight or 4 feet 9 inches in height, the law says your child must be secured with a seatbelt.
Violation of any of the above can result in a fine for the driver.
Child Car Seat Safety Tips
While Missouri law provides some basic child car seat guidelines, it lacks specifics about ensuring child car seat safety through important matters like proper car seat installation.
Go beyond the minimum requirements of the law to give your child the maximum protection against injuries by adhering to the following tips:
- Understand the types of safety restraints, including rear-facing seats, forward-facing seats, booster seats, and seat belts.
- Follow installation instructions carefully and get your installation checked by experts, if available.
- Use the tether system for increased safety.
- Avoid transitioning to a more advanced safety seat until your child is well within the guidelines for safe use.
- Keep your child in the backseat until they are at least 12 years old.
- Make sure the seat is properly secured.
- Make sure your child is securely fastened to whatever safety restraint they are using.
- Make sure everyone in the car wears a seatbelt.
Help for Car Crash Victims in Missouri
If you or your child were injured in a car crash caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Contact the trial lawyers at Sansone & Lauber by phone or online to review your case and find out if you may be entitled to compensation. The claim review is free and comes with no obligations.