Keeping Child Passengers Safe on the Road

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In Tennessee, children are required by law to sit in the back seat until they turn nine years old. After that, children below the age of 12 should ride in the back of a car with either a fastened seat belt, a booster seat, or a rear seat, depending on what works for their age, height, and weight. And as a parent, you want to do everything possible to protect your child while on the road.

How to Reduce the Risk of an Accident

Auto accidents are among the common causes of death in children in America. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 607 children aged 12 and under died in auto crashes in 2020. About 63,000 children sustained injuries. The same report indicates that 38 percent of the deceased children were not secured in seat belts.

Car seats have been found to reduce the risk of deadly injuries for child passengers. In addition, using a child seat system based on the young one’s age and size can save lives.

How to Know What Car Seat to Use

The first step to keeping your child safe on the road is knowing which seat is ideal for them based on their size and age.

  • Use a Rear-Facing Car Seat for Young Children (1 to 3-Year-Olds): Children ages three years and younger should always ride in a rear-facing seat until they are at least four years old or reach the maximum size allowed by the seat’s manufacturer. Be sure to use a seat with a harness to ensure optimal protection. You are advised not to place the seat in the front of the car because the front passenger airbags can harm toddlers in case of an accident.
  • Use a Forward-Facing Car Seat for Young Children (4 to 7-Year-Olds): When your little one reaches the maximum limit of the rear-facing seat, they should change to a forward-facing car seat with a tether and harness. This should be used until your baby attains the highest height and weight allowed by the seat’s manufacturer.
  • Use a Booster Car Seat for Older Children (At Least 8 Years): If your child no longer fits the forward-facing seat, they should shift to a belt-positioning booster car seat. This seat should be used until the belt fits correctly without the booster seat.

Use the seat belt once your little one outgrows their booster seat. Your child should wear their seat belt on every trip and ensure it fits snugly.

Get Help from a Knoxville Car Accident Attorney Today

Keeping children safe on the road is extremely important. A Knoxville car accident attorney can help you comply with all applicable laws related to child safety on the road. They can also advise on the legal requirements for implementing booster seats and child restraint systems.

Need help? Contact The Law Offices of G. Turner Howard III online or call (865) 558-8030 to schedule a free consultation with our lead car accident attorney, G. Turner Howard III.

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