Keeping Your Child Safe: Car Seat Laws in Atlanta

As of July 1st, 2011, all children under the age of 8 in Georgia must be in a car seat or booster seat that will support their height and weight. Georgia law also requires children younger than eight years old to ride in the back seat. The state also recommends that children ride in the back seat whenever possible until they reach 12 years of age.

Parents must remember that if they fail to follow Georgia’s child safety seat laws, they will most likely pay a fine of up to $50 and lose one point off their license per improperly restrained child. In addition, a second offense will result in a larger fine. In this context, money and license points are irrelevant compared to a child’s safety and even life.

Suppose you are driving in Atlanta, and someone crashes into your car. Unfortunately, you did not restrain your child properly, so they suffered injuries. The law may find the person who caused the accident at fault for all your damages and losses, but there is a moral burden on the parents who neglected using the proper child restraints.

In clear-cut cases, when your child was in a car seat compliant with all regulations but still suffered injuries in a traffic accident caused by another party, you can seek economic and non-economic damages in court. In other words, if your child is hurt in an automobile accident in the Atlanta area, you can get help from a car accident lawyer from Bader Scott. The qualified legal team can evaluate all the case details and let you know if your family is entitled to a settlement. Schedule a consultation as soon as possible so your attorney can let you know which evidence must be submitted to build a strong case for your personal injury settlement.

Before thinking about the worst, do everything possible to keep your child safe as you travel in the Atlanta area. Here are some important things to keep in mind.

Age Stages for Car Seats

In Georgia, your child must be in a rear-facing car seat from birth until two years old. Once a child reaches two years of age, you can transition them to a forward-facing car seat if they meet the height and weight requirements. After that, children must remain in a forward-facing seat until their fifth birthday.

Once a child is five years old, they can ride in a booster seat. The child must remain in the booster seat until the age of 8. However, if parents can prove that a child is four feet eleven inches before their eighth birthday, they can ride without a booster seat.

Types of Booster Seats

There are several types of booster seats to choose from. If your automobile does not have headrests or has low-back seats, it’s best to purchase a high-back booster seat for your child. On the other hand, you can opt for a backless booster seat if your car has high headrests or back seats.

If you use a backless booster seat, the seats and headrests in your vehicle must come up your child’s ears. If your little one’s ears go past the headrests or seat, it’s best to use a high back booster seat to ensure their neck and head are protected in a crash.

Additional Information for Booster Seats

According to Georgia laws, all children younger than eight years old who are shorter than four feet nine inches must be in a car seat or booster seat appropriate for their height, weight, and age. If you’re using a booster seat for your child, ensure that the shoulder and lap belts fit securely. The lap belt must lie comfortably across the child’s upper thighs; the shoulder belt must fit securely across the shoulder and chest and not across the child’s face or neck.

Most booster seats have a weight range of about 35 pounds with a maximum weight of up to 100 pounds. According to the National Child Passenger Safety Board, you should keep your child in a booster seat until the seat belt properly fits your child and they can sit throughout a car ride without slouching.

Installing Car Seats and Booster Seats

Always read the manual for the car seat you purchase. Ensure you use the hooks for the car seat to secure the seat onto the back seat. Hold the seat securely with a seatbelt and test the seat for safety before putting your child inside.

A booster is held in place with the child’s weight and the shoulder and lap belt. To install a booster seat, place the seat in the back seat of your car and check if the booster seat is flat. Once your child is sitting in the booster seat, place the seat belt across your child and buckle the seat belt to keep your child secure.

Car seats and booster seats often have expiration dates. Make sure you have the newest model of these items to ensure your child’s safety, whether you take a short trip to the supermarket or prepare a family road trip for the summer. Never forget to keep your vehicle safe, your child properly restrained, and follow all traffic laws.

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