If you’ve shopped for a carseat in the past five years, you know just how many choices are available from big box stores and online retailers. Car Seats can be purchased in every color and style with a myriad of upgrades that allow your baby to cruise in more comfort than anyone else in the car! However, car seats aren’t just about the fancy upgrades. The most important component of a carseat is its safety.
Though car seat laws were once virtually non-existent, today they are carefully scripted and heavily enforced to ensure that all children travel as safely as possible in the backseat. Be sure that you understand Florida’s car seat laws to avoid injuries, fines, and 3 points against your driver’s license. Speak with an auto accident attorney clearwater to understand the law and your rights.
How to Choose the Best Car Seat
You should always select a seat designed for your child’s weight, height, and age. Types of seats commonly available are divided into three different categories: rear-facing, convertible, and forward-facing.
Rear-facing only seats, also known as infant seats, can only accommodate babies and typically come with a base that’s left in the car to provide an easy “click” into its proper location. These seats cannot be changed to a forward-facing position. Many states now require that children stay in a rear-facing seat until the age of two.
Convertible seats can face backward or forward, based on the child’s size and age. Unlike rear-facing car seats, these convertible seats are bulky and not meant to be taken in and out of the car on a regular basis. A five point harness is used at the shoulders, hips, and between the legs to keep children firmly in place.
Forward-facing seats are meant for older toddlers and children. They only face forward and can accommodate up to 80 pounds. Many forward-facing seats are combination seats that can be adjusted to serve as booster seats as well. It’s essential not to place your child in a forward-facing seat until he has reached the appropriate height and weight requirements.
Sticking to the Law
Florida police officers will enforce these child safety laws says Peter Catania, a reputable sarasota personal injury attorney who has seen it before. If your child under 5 years old is not in a federally- approved child car seat, you could receive a fine and up to 3 points against your driver’s license. The DHSMV recommends that children remain in the backseat until they are at least 12 years old since airbag deployment can cause serious injuries to small passengers in the front seat.
With the right preparation, you and your family can enjoy safe and enjoyable summer travels