Protecting New York’s youth is a primary concern for everyone, and on this page, we’ll discuss the laws you need to know about and other safety tips.
It’s a very unfortunate reality that there are over 136,000 ER visits each year in the state of New York as a result of motor vehicle accidents, and there are many instances in which children are seriously injured in car accidents due to their lack of proper restraint.
This is why the state of New York has established a whole array of very strict specifications for the child car seat and booster seat systems through the Federal Motor Vehicles Safety Standard 213, but there are many other laws that New York parents and caregivers must know about.
On this page we’re going to go over the important facets of New York’s child safety seat laws, and always feel free to contact us for a free case review if you have any further questions about these laws and how they may have played a role in a car accident that you or your loved ones were involved in.
New York Car Seat Laws
One of the more recent changes to New York’s child safety laws is that the state now requires all children eight and younger to always wear a safety restraint that meets the child’s specific weight and height requirements. There’s no doubt about it that New York is one of the pioneering states throughout the country when it comes to child car safety, and the following are some of the important laws all parents and caregivers need to know about:
- Starting on November 1, 2019, all children two years old and younger must utilize rear-facing car seats, until they exceed the car seat manufacturer’s weight and height suggestions.
- When a child is either two years of age or exceeds the manufacturer’s suggestions, the child can then use a forward-facing car seat.
- After the child turns four and the child exceeds the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements, he/she may use a booster seat that has chest and shoulder straps.
- A newer law established in 2017 states that all New York taxis must also comply with the above child safety laws.
- Public buses are exempt from the above laws.
- It’s not a requirement, but state authorities have made strong suggestions to parents to keep their children in the back seat until they reach twelve years old.
The U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention has a great resource page that helps parents better understand what they can do to ensure they’re using car and booster seats correctly. There is also another great article within the New York State website that all parents and caregivers should take a look at, so there are a lot of online resources when it comes to child passenger safety.
The Different Types of Child Safety Seats
The CDC’s recent study indicated that about 46% of all car and booster seats are improperly installed or used, which is a serious concern for all parents. Every parent and caregiver should know that the seat must firmly fit within the vehicle and that the seat must adhere to the child’s age and size requirements.
It’s important to understand the differences between the different types of child safety seats, so here is a brief list of seats that will help you choose the right type for your child:
This child safety seat is typically used for infants that weigh below 22 pounds and are less than 25 inches in length, and these seats must always be rear-facing. A lot of infant seats are also carriers because they can be easily removed from the base that’s secured via a seat belt.
Convertible Child Seats
These seats are typically used for toddlers under 40 pounds, and these seats should also always be rear-facing unless the child is over two years old and meets certain height and weight requirements. It’s important that all parents and caregivers strictly follow the directions given by any car seat manufacturer because as the child gets older it will be important to keep these rules in mind to ensure the child is properly secured and restrained.
There are many convertible child seats that can safely hold children that weigh up to 60 pounds, which is great for parents who are looking to save some money by getting a car seat that will be adequately safe for many years.
New York Booster Seat Laws
When children are too large to fit in convertible or infant seats they then will graduate to a booster seat that utilizes both lap and shoulder belts. Booster seats are typically designed for children between the ages of 4 and 8, or 40 to 80 pounds. The maximum height associated with booster seats is usually 4 feet 9 inches.
Booster seats should be utilized until the child can safely fit into an adult seat belt without the booster seat’s support, which sometimes means children will use booster seats until they’re about 12 years old. It’s crucial that parents always ensure that their child’s booster seat is properly installed and safely secured before every car ride.
Built-In Vehicle Child Seats
There are some car models that come equipped with forward-facing child safety seats, but the main issue with these seats is that the height and weight limits will always vary between manufacturers. If you are interested in using one of these seats, you should always look into your car’s manual to determine whether or not your child meets the weight and height recommendations.
Infants should never be placed in built-in vehicle child seats.
Safety Tips for Parents and Caregivers
There are many things that you can personally do to help keep children safe on New York’s roadways, including the following:
- Although it’s not illegal in New York, you should never let a child ride in a car or booster seat in the front seat near an airbag, because airbags have been known to lead to many serious/fatal injuries.
- Make a habit out of ensuring your children are safely restrained before every car ride.
- Receive car seat inspections at fitting stations, and bring your child with you so the technician can more appropriately determine the right car seat for your child.
- Don’t buy used car seats, because there are no guarantees for the child’s safety when you purchase from a thrift store, flea market, garage sale, etc. There’s really no telling what could be wrong with used car seats, so we recommend avoiding them.
- Always remain focused on the road and avoid becoming distracted at all costs. This means not using your mobile device or any electronics while driving!
- Always drive sober!
- Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, even if you have the windows cracked and the air conditioning is on.
Penalties for Violating New York’s Car and Booster Seat Laws
The typical penalty associated with violating the laws we’ve talked about on this page is a $50 fine, but this fine will increase to $100 if the child that is improperly secured is under 16. In this situation, it’s very likely that the driver will also get three violation points on their license, so it quickly becomes a very serious offense to not perfectly adhere to the state’s child passenger safety rules.
Contact Us Today for a Free Case Review
Our attorneys have decades of experience when it comes to serving the state of New York within all types of personal injury cases, so if your loved one has unfortunately suffered from an injury due to a faulty car seat or booster seat then you may be eligible for compensation.
Contact us for a free case review so we can go over the details of your child’s injury and take the necessary first steps towards devising a successful legal strategy.