What are the Car Seat Laws in New York?

What are the Car Seat Laws in New York?
Calendar icon July 17, 2023

Children under the age of eight must ride in a car with an age-appropriate restraint system to keep them safe from the impact of a car accident. Due to the size of a child under eight years old, a severe car accident can expose them to life-threatening severe injury risk. Car seat laws can safeguard them from the impact of a car accident and mitigate the impact of a car collision.

However, these are not foolproof systems that protect them fully from damage. Children can still experience severe injuries while in a car seat during a car accident. If the negligence of another party caused a car accident that resulted in your children suffering significant injuries and damages, you could file a car accident claim with their insurance company to pursue fair compensatory damages.

What are the Car Seat Laws in New York?

New York State Requires Young Children to be Restrained to Avoid Car Accident Injuries

Car accidents can be dangerous for everyone in a car, including children. To prevent them from experiencing the brunt of car accident impact, parents and guardians must ensure that children under eight sit in age-appropriate restraint systems and wear a seatbelt.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), riding in a car seat can reduce a child’s risk of suffering an injury during a car accident by 71-82%. Parents and guardians must keep their children safe while in a car, which is why New York state has established laws that parents must abide by.

New York child safety laws require the following for children in cars:

  • All children under two years old must sit in a rear-facing car seat
  • Children under the age of four must ride in an age-appropriate child-safety seat
  • Children must ride in child restraint systems until their eighth birthday
  • Children under the age of eight cannot ride in a car with just a seatbelt and must ride with an appropriate car or booster seat, harness, or vest

Parents and guardians must also ensure that the car seat their child rides is certified according to Federal Motor Vehicles Safety Standard 213. They must follow the instructions laid out by the manufacturer to ensure their child rides in the seat properly, as not putting a child properly in the seat can mitigate the seat’s protective qualities. 

Common Types of Child Safety Seats

Parents and guardians must find the correct car seat to protect their children during a car accident. The type of car seat your child requires depends on their age, height, and weight. 

The following are some types of car seats used to keep children safe:

  • Infant seats: Used for infants that weigh 22 pounds or less and are less than 25 inches tall
  • Convertible child safety seats: Used for infants and toddlers that weigh less than 40 pounds
  • Booster seats: These are for children that have outgrown the above two car seats. Children between ages four and eight in these seats normally weigh between 40 and 80 pounds and are less than four feet, nine inches tall
  • Built-in child seats: Some cars have built-in seats that fold away from standard car seats. All built-in car seats abide by the same weight and height standards and will vary based on the car manufacturer. These car seats can also be adjusted to grow with your child. Read the instructions given by the car manufacturer to ensure the car seat is safe for your child before riding with them in one.

Can Child Passengers in Car Seats Ride in a Front Seat?

New York state child safety laws require children to ride in car seats until they are eight years old. However, there are no laws about where the child can sit or say that children cannot ride in a car seat in a front seat. However, riding in the front seat can be dangerous, even for a child sitting in a car seat.

The problem with sitting in the front seat is the airbag that can inflate should there be a car accident. Passenger airbags can crush children and expose them to severe life-threatening injuries. The airbag can inflate and crush the safety seat, with the child trapped and possibly suffering a serious injury that can cause death.

Penalties for Violating Car Seat Laws

People that violate New York car seat or seatbelt laws can experience significant penalties. Drivers or passengers that are caught driving without a seatbelt will have to pay a $50 fine.

However, parents and guardians that fail to properly restrain their child with a car seat and seat belt can be fined $100 and have three points put on their license. They can incur these penalties if they fail to use a car seat for a child under eight years old or put them in one that is too small or big for them. 

Parents and guardians should adequately restrain their children to avoid these penalties and keep a child safe during a commute. Despite taking safety precautions, children can still experience injuries and car accident damages from a car collision.

Negligent drivers that exhibit dangerous behavior behind the wheel, such as distracted driving, speeding, or drunk driving, can be held liable for damages. Parents and guardians should hire a car accident lawyer to help them pursue compensation for damages caused to their children.

Contact Cellino Law for Help With Your Car Accident Claim

The car accident lawyers at Cellino Law can help you determine the value of your child’s damages, assess liability, collect evidence, and negotiate a fair settlement. Car passengers like your child can experience severe injuries from car accidents, and at-fault parties should be held liable for their reckless or negligent behavior. 

Our car accident lawyers can help protect your rights during the car accident claim process. They can help ensure you receive a fair settlement that can help pay for damages caused to your child. Contact Cellino Law today for a free car accident consultation by calling us at (888) 888-8888 or leaving a message on our online contact page.

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Content checked by the personal injury attorney Ross Cellino. As a family man and a trial attorney, I pride myself on winning cases and serving the community. With over 35 years of experience, I understand the function of a jury, how juries arrive at conclusions, and the role that the jury plays in administering justice. I know how to win cases. You can find us in Manhattan, Buffalo, Melville, Rochester, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and other locations throughout New York.



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