Georgia Child Car Seat Laws

When you get behind the wheel of your car, you take safety very seriously, especially when you have a child in the car with you.

Children are the most vulnerable to serious injuries in car accidents, which is why Georgia has strict car seat laws in place.

If your child suffered an injury in a car accident that was caused by another driver’s negligence, reach out for the legal guidance of an experienced Georgia car accident attorney today.

Car Seat Requirements in Georgia

Georgia takes the safety of children exceptionally seriously, and as a result, all the following legal requirements apply:

  • Every child who is under the age of 8 and who has not yet reached the height of 57 inches is required to ride in the car’s back seat. Children are always safer in the back, where they are farther away from an airbag’s immense force, which is designed for adults to withstand.
  • Every child who is younger than eight years old must sit in either a car seat or booster seat that is age and size appropriate.
  • Georgia front seat laws dictate that if the child in question is at least 40 pounds and there is no backseat in the vehicle – or the back seats are filled by younger or smaller children – they can sit in the front of the vehicle, but they must be properly restrained in a car seat or booster that is age and size appropriate.

In Georgia, children who exceed 40 pounds can transition from their front-facing car seats to booster seats, but it’s safest to wait until the front-facing car seat’s age or size limit is reached prior to doing so.

Safety Recommendations

Recommendations from safety experts that augment Georgia car seat laws include the following:

  • If the child is under the age of 13, they should ride in the back seat whenever possible.
  • Holding a child in your lap while traveling by car seriously jeopardizes the child’s safety.
  • The safety of used car seats and those that have been through accidents cannot be guaranteed, which makes them a poor choice.
  • Buckle your children safely into their car seat or booster for every trip you take – even if it’s just around the block.

A Note about Legal Penalties

In some states, police cannot stop motorists for the sole reason that they are in violation of a seat belt law, but not in Georgia. Seat belt violations in Georgia are considered primary offenses, and includes violations of Georgia booster seat laws and car seat laws. Such offenses can lead to the following fines and penalties:

  • Fines of up to $50
  • One point against your driver’s license per unrestrained child in your vehicle at the time
  • Doubled fines and points for repeat offenders

Car Accidents and Injuries to Children: The Statistics

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that car accidents are the number one cause of death for children between the ages of 1 and 13. Consider the following related statistics:

  • Every year, the lives of about 325 children are saved by the car seats in which they ride.
  • In a recent year, 42 percent of the children killed in car accidents were not restrained by car seats or boosters.
  • A full 46 percent of booster seats and car seats are installed or otherwise used incorrectly.

In other words, your efforts in purchasing the right car seat for your child, installing it correctly, and using it correctly every time your child is in the vehicle play a critical role in your child’s overall safety in the car.

Car Accidents Involving Children Still Happen

Even when you do everything right in terms of buckling your children up safely and are in complete accordance with state laws and safety recommendations, your child can still be injured in a car accident.

The immense impact generated in car crashes leaves everyone in the vehicle vulnerable to serious injuries that can prove life-threatening.

If you’re involved in a car accident when your child is in the car, it is highly recommended to take the following steps to protect your child’s safety and the car accident claim. These steps can provide you with the compensation you need to support your child’s fullest recovery:

  • Seek immediate medical attention. It is far easier for serious injuries to go undetected in children, which makes getting your child checked out by a medical professional as soon after the accident as possible paramount.
  • Follow the medical provider’s instructions and advice carefully.
  • Consult with a practiced car accident attorney who has a wealth of experience successfully handling challenging claims like yours as soon as you can.

Discuss Your Claim with an Experienced South Carolina Car Accident Attorney Today

The Georgia car accident lawyers at Larrison Law Firm Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorneys recognize the gravity of claims involving children and are committed to advocating for the best possible resolution of yours. To learn more, message us online or consider calling us at 770-554-8100 today.

Car Seat FAQs

How should I buckle a child into a car seat?

Forward-facing car seats have harnesses to secure your child, while with booster seats, you should position the child’s seat belt snugly over their lap and shoulder — not over their stomach or near their neck.

What if my child’s car seat is expired?

Every car seat should have an expiration date. Use an up-to-date car seat to verify that the seat meets federal standards. Consider checking if there are any recalls for your product.

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