Modern cars are one of the safest forms of transportation. They have been designed with a plethora of safety features like seat belts, airbags, and crumple zones. However, these safety features are much more effective for adults than they are for children.
Thankfully, there is also an industry focused on making cars as safe for toddlers and children as they are for adults: the booster seat and car seat industry. These devices do an excellent job of protecting little ones from harm during any type of sudden stop. And because they are so effective, Texas law requires you to use them when traveling with young children.
Texas Laws Regarding Child Safety Seats
Up To Two Years Old
If you are traveling with a child under two years old, the child is required to ride in a rear-facing car seat unless they have outgrown the highest height and weight standards of this type of car seat. Before upgrading to the next type of car seat, you should make certain that there isn’t another rear-facing car seat on the market with higher standards.
Two To Four Years Old
Once a child has reached their second birthday or exceeded the height and weight limits of all rear-facing car seats, they can travel in a forward-facing car seat. It is recommended that children travel in this type of car seat until they surpass the height or weight limits, even if they have reached the age of four.
Additionally, if a child is two years old and hasn’t reached the height or weight limit of their rear-facing car seat, they can legally still ride in a rear-facing seat. And if they don’t meet the minimum height or weight of a forward-facing seat, they should.
Four To Eight Years Old
Once a child reaches four years old, they may start using a booster seat. And they must use it or a car seat until they are eight years old unless they outgrow it.
Regardless of the child’s age, it is recommended that they continue to use a booster seat until they are at least four feet and nine inches tall. This is when it becomes safe to use a standard lap belt.
Penalties For Violating This Law
If you are traveling with a child who is not properly secured in a booster seat or child seat, you can be penalized. The penalty in Texas is a fine that may be anywhere from $25 to $250, depending on the circumstances of the violation.
Proper Use of a Car or Booster Seat in Texas
If used properly, a car or booster seat will protect a child from harm in most car accidents. But many car seats and booster seats aren’t that easy to use. Texas assists anyone using a car or booster seat.
You can take your car, car seat, and child to one of 25 district offices around the state to take advantage of the Save Me With a Seat campaign. When you do, an employee of the state will check your car seat and make sure it is properly adjusted to best protect the child.
Texas Car Seat Laws Protect Children
Texas car seat laws reduce serious injuries and fatalities in young children. If you regularly drive with a child, familiarize yourself with these laws.