Children are more vulnerable to serious injuries in car accidents. Because of this, every state has laws in place regarding car seats and children. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, during a recent reporting year, a child under the age of 13 in the Commonwealth was injured in a car crash every 33 seconds. PennDOT says that there were 320 eight children younger than five saved due to the correct use of occupant restraints during that year. However, they say that 42 additional lives could have been saved if car seat use was at 100%.
What are the car seat laws in PA?
Pennsylvania car seat laws are generally dependent on the age of the child.
- Birth to 2 years of age. Must be secured in a rear-facing car seat until the child outgrows the maximum height and weight limitations of the car sear maker.
- Birth to 4 years of age. Must be properly restrained in an approved car seat anywhere in the vehicle.
- 4 to 8 years of age. Must be restrained in an appropriate booster seat if they have outgrown the weight and height requirements of other seats.
- 8 years of age and older. Must wear a seat belt if they have outgrown the booster seat.
Installation tips for car seats
The first step after finding the appropriate car seat for your child, depending on their age, height, and weight, is to thoroughly read the car seat manual as well as the vehicle manual. An improperly installed car seat can be incredibly dangerous and end up causing serious harm to your child in the event an accident occurs.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation provides funding for over 75 fitting stations throughout the Commonwealth. These stations have trained technicians who can check to see if your car seat is properly installed. You can click here to find a fitting station near you.
While it is recommended that you go to a fitting station to ensure proper installation, you can also find comprehensive videos about safe seat installation at the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) website.
You should also register your car seat at the NHTSA’s website. By doing so, you will receive any recall or safety notice information about the seat you have installed in your car. In many cases, problems with the car seat are not discovered until well after they have been available to consumers. In most cases, you will be able to exchange a defective car seat for one that works properly.
Injured in an accident? Call the Ciccarelli Law Offices
If you or your child had been injured in a car accident that was caused by another person’s careless or negligent actions, seek legal assistance immediately. At the Ciccarelli Law Offices, we are ready to help. Our knowledgeable and experienced team is ready to conduct a thorough investigation into your accident in order to secure the compensation you need. This could include:
- Coverage of your medical bills
- Compensation for lost income and benefits
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
- Possible punitive damages against a grossly negligent driver