What are Georgia Car Seat Laws?

According to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, Georgia car seat laws are:

  • All children under the age of 8 whose height is less than 57 inches must ride in the backseat of a car
  • All children under the age of 8 are required to be in a booster seat or car seat that is suitable for their age and height
  • If there is no back seat in the vehicle, or other restrained children are in the backseat, Georgia law allows a child under the age of 8 to sit in the front seat if restrained in the proper car seat or booster seat and the child weighs at least 40 pounds

Penalties for Violating Georgia Car Seat Laws

According to Georgia Law, Georgia Primary Safety Belt Law allows police officers to issue a driver a citation if they simply observe a seat belt violation.  Some other states require that the officer stops the driver for another offense first, however this is not the case in Georgia. A police officer can pull you over if they observe an improperly restrained child in your vehicle. 

A violation for an improperly restrained child can lead to a fine of $50 and one point on your license.  A second offense can lead to a double fined and doubled points.

Car seat laws protect your child in the car

The penalties for an improperly restrained child are relatively small, however the most important thing is for your child to be safe in the car. 

In the United States, car crashes are the leading cause of death for children between 1 and 12 years old.  I am not pointing this out to scare parents, but to inform parents. Child fatalities due to car accidents are real, but can be avoided. 

The most important thing is to follow Georgia car seat laws.  They are in place to protect children, and they really do work.  You should also put your child in the proper car seat based on age and weight.  Also be sure that the car seat is properly installed. 

The following are a few tips that experts suggest to ensure the safety of your child in a motor vehicle:

  • All children under the age of 13 should ride in the backseat
  • Do not use a child car seat that has been involved in an accident
  • Do not hold a child in your lap or place a car seat in the front seat
  • Secure your child even for short trips

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 52% of all collisions in the United States occur within a 5-mile radius of the home, and 69% occur within 10 miles

Booster Seats

Booster seats are one area that people overlook when it comes to car seat safety.  A booster seat is designed to reduce the risk of injury by helping the seat belt fit properly.

Booster seats are recommended for children 4-7 years old who are less than 4 feet 9 inches tall.

Here are some tips for using a booster seat:

  • If your vehicle has low seats and no headrests, use a high back model
  • If your vehicle has headrests, you can use a backless model.
  • Use the booster seat until your child meets the weight limits or can fit into a normal seatbelt properly

Proper installation is key

One of the biggest problems with car seat and booster seat usage is improper installation.  You should make sure you have the right model for your child AND that it is properly installed in your vehicle.  According to the NHTSA, 80% of car seats are incorrectly installed.

To do this, you should seek out expert help.  Contact your local fire department for free installation and inspection help.  You can also find car seat inspection sites in your area by visiting http://www.seatcheck.org

In addition, here is a list of NHTSA’s inspection sites.

Our specialized, car accident attorneys can help you.

At Georgia Auto Law, every member of our team specializes exclusively in Georgia auto accident cases.  We are the only law firm in Georgia handling only auto accident cases. This means that we do not focus our time, research, or resources on anything except winning you the most money on your car accident case.

You are welcome to call one of our auto attorneys at any time, day or night, at (404) 662-4949.  You can also complete our consultation form, and one of our car accident specialists will reach out to you within minutes.  With our No Fee Pledge™, you pay nothing. We are here for you.

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Mark Wade

Mark Wade is a personal injury trial lawyer in Georgia. He has built a law firm that specializes in car, truck, and motorcycle accidents in order to provide his clients with the highest level of expertise for their auto accident cases.

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