Texas Car and Booster Seat Laws
David Muñoz | December 23, 2022 | Texas Law
When it comes to keeping your child safe in a vehicle, ensuring proper installation of any car and booster seats is vital. This is because vehicular collisions are, unfortunately, a common occurrence, and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 46% of car seats are used incorrectly.
The best way to ensure a child’s safety during a car ride is to make sure they are properly buckled in. This means complying with manufacturer instructions as they relate to securing the seat and child within the vehicle.
To make sure your children stay safe while you drive in Texas, it is helpful to understand the state’s car and booster seat laws.
According to Texas law, children under the age of eight must be secured in a child seat at all times while riding in a vehicle unless they are over 4 feet 9 inches tall. If they have outgrown the height requirements, they are required to be buckled in with a seat belt.
Those that fail to comply with child car and booster seat laws could be ticketed and face a fine of up to $250. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, it is always a good idea to read the instructions included with the child seat before you install it in the car.
Types of Car Seats
There are a few different types of car seats in use today. Each one is designated for a different age range and adheres to slightly different requirements.
If your child weighs less than 22 pounds and is shorter than 25 inches, you should secure them in an infant seat. These seats should be placed in the back seat, with the occupant facing the rear of the vehicle. Most infant seats consist of a base and a carrier. The base remains in the vehicle, while the carrier can be detached.
As you will no doubt find in the manufacturer’s instructions, an infant seat should never be placed in the vehicle’s front seat and should always face the rear of the vehicle. This is due to the fact that most front seats have side airbags, which could severely injure an infant. Additionally, a rear-facing seat will be more secure in the event of a collision.
Convertible Safety Seats
If you’re looking for a solution for an infant and toddler, consider a convertible safety seat. As with infant seats, convertible child safety seats that are used to secure infants must face the rear of the vehicle. The reasoning for this is the same as with an infant seat — in the event of a collision, a rear-facing seat will be more secure.
As the child grows, the seat can be reappropriated to face the front of the vehicle. However, you will still want to ensure the seat is placed in the back seat rather than the front passenger seat.
You can continue using a convertible safety seat until the child occupying the seat weighs over 40 pounds. Once the child exceeds 40 pounds, you will need to use a booster seat.
After your child has outgrown their convertible safety seat, you can use a booster seat until they are over 8 years old and taller than 4 feet 9 inches. Booster seats are forward-facing and should be secured in adherence to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Follow Texas Car and Booster Seat Laws To Protect Your Child
By keeping up with current Texas car and booster seat laws, you can be better prepared to protect the safety of your children on the road.
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