What Parents Need to Know About Texas Car Seat Laws
It is a well-known fact that car accidents happen every day. Most are unavoidable and happen without a moment’s notice. Car accidents can be even more freighting when you have a child in the backseat. In Texas, there are certain laws relating to child car seats to ensure the safety of children when and if an accident occurs.
Information Regarding Car Seat Laws
In general, car seat laws are based on the age, height, and weight of the child. Car seat manufacturers make different car seats for different age and size ranges, therefore, Texas lawmakers did the same. The law applies to children as young as newborns, up to eight years old, and shorter the 4 foot 9 inches. If a child is over the age of eight or taller than 4 foot 9 inches, they are allowed to sit in a regular seat and use the seat belt.
Requirements for Different Types of Car Seats
Rear-Facing Seat Requirements
Newborns up to two-years-old are required to sit in a rear-facing car seat. It is important to securely strap the seat and see to it that the manufacturer’s instructions are followed closely. The harness of the seat should be snug without pinching the skin and the chest clip should be secure under the child’s armpits.
Forward-Facing Seat Requirements
Once a child reaches the age of two or the maximum weight of the rear-facing seat, they are able to switch to a front-facing car seat. A seat belt or latch system must be used to secure a child in this type of seat. The child may stay in this seat until they reach the maximum height and weight.
Booster Seat Requirements
At around the age of four is when a child may be placed in a car booster seat. Most kids remain in this seat until the age of eight. The child must be placed into the booster seat and strapped in with the seat belt provided in the car. The option to use a backless booster seat is only available if the child’s head is not taller than the backseat of the vehicle.
Other Instructions to Abide By
Furthermore, carefully following the instructions of the car seat manufacturer is important to ensure the seat is being used in the safest way possible. It is important to know that child seats expire six years from the manufacturing date, which means you must buy one before that time runs out. A number of manufacturers create seats that grow with your child, meaning it can convert from rear-facing to front-facing to a booster seat as your child reaches those milestones.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
Unfortunately, there have been a number of car seat recalls. It is possible for children to suffer injuries due to a child’s car seat malfunctioning, even if you were not involved in a car accident. If this happens, it is important to know your options in terms of liability if you believe there was a defect that led to your child’s injuries.