Car seats save children’s lives. There is no more succinct way to put that. You might be shocked to find out how many people do not know about car seat laws in Georgia or how many people simply ignore them. Here, we want to make it very clear that Georgia does have car seat laws. The requirements for car seats vary depending on a child’s age, height, and weight. Individuals who choose not to put their children in the appropriate car seat could face fines.
What Georgia Law Says About Child Car Seats
When we look directly at information available from the Georgia state government, we can see that any child under the age of 8 with a height of less than 57 inches is required to ride in the back seat of the vehicle.
- Children under the age of eight are required to be in either a car seat or booster seat suitable for their age and height, per manufacturers’ requirements.
- If there is not a back seat in the vehicle or if there are other restraint children in the back seat, Georgia does allow a child under the age of eight to sit in the front seat if restrained in a proper car seat or booster seat, but only if the child weighs at least 40 pounds.
Penalties for Not Using a Car Seat in Georgia
The state of Georgia does allow police officers to write tickets to parents who do not properly restrain their children in car seats. A violation of car seat laws could result in parents receiving a fine of up to $50 and one point against their license for each improperly restrained child in the vehicle. In other words, if three children are improperly restrained, this would result in a $150 fine and three points against a person’s license.
Georgia is a primary seat belt law state, which allows officers to pull over individuals if they observe a violation. This applies to car seat violations.
Injuries Can Occur if Parents Don’t Use Car Seats for Children
Information available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that more than 600 children aged 12 and younger died in vehicle accidents, and more than 91,000 children in that age group were injured as a result of vehicle accidents during the latest reporting year. Of the children who died in a vehicle crash, 38% were not properly restrained.
The reality is that vehicles accidents can disproportionately affect children if they are not restrained in the right car seat or booster seat. It is not uncommon for children to sustain severe injuries in these crashes, including the following:
- Internal organ damage or internal bleeding
- Severe lacerations
- Contusions and bruising
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord trauma
- Crush injuries
- Broken or dislocated bones
Make Sure the Seat is Installed Properly
It is crucial for parents to ensure that a car seat is installed correctly. An improperly installed car seat will likely not work as intended and could lead to severe injuries for the child if a crash occurs. There are various resources that help Georgia parents understand their requirements for car seats, particularly safekidsgeorgia.org. We encourage all parents in Georgia to go to this website to learn about best safety practices regarding child passenger safety.