Child Seat Laws In Florida – When Can Kids Sit In The Front Seat?

February 23, 2024
Photo of a Kid Fixing Seat Belt

According to the crash statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 183,000 children were injured in traffic crashes in 2019. Unfortunately, car accidents are a leading cause of fatalities among children. 

Putting your child in the correct position in the car is important as it can save them from serious injuries in a car accident. Florida has strict car seat laws, and any motorist found guilty of violating these laws will face consequences. 

Understanding Florida car seat laws can help you recognize their importance and learn how they can help protect your rights if you get into an accident. Florida selt laws can often be complex, so you may need assistance from a car accident lawyer to help you through the legal proceedings of an injury or property damage claim. 

Florida’s Car Seat Laws

While there are no specific laws related to sitting in the front seat, the Florida Department of Highway Safety recommends children under the age of 12 not sit in the front seat of a vehicle. This means that all children should sit in the backseat of the vehicle until they turn 13. 

Children under the age of 3 must be in child restraint devices such as an integrated car seat or a separate carrier. Children aged 4 and 5 must be either seated in an integrated seat, a separate carrier, or a booster seat. 

The Florida seat belt laws require all children who have outgrown the weight or height limits of a booster seat to wear seat belts at all times, regardless of whether they are sitting in the front or back. Many auto manufacturers also recommend having children sit in the backseat until they are under the age of 18. 

Why Do Child Front Seat Laws Exist? 

Children often find it more interesting to sit in the front seat. However, there is a good reason to not allow children to sit in the front seat until they are older. While sitting in the front seat might seem harmless, it can be dangerous for a child. 

There are many reasons why you should have your children sit in the backseat. The biggest threat is the airbags in the front, which are not designed for children. If the airbags deploy, the high force can cause serious injuries to a child. The airbags can actually do more harm than good in some accidents.

Along with the threat of airbags, children can also suffer serious bodily harm by colliding with the dashboard or the front windshield. The backseat offers more space and soft materials to help absorb the impact of any collision. 

Children are still developing physically, and any injuries can pose a greater risk compared to adults. Seat belts are designed for the weight and height of an adult, and may not offer the same protection to a child.

Recover Compensation for Car Accidents

Car accidents are unpredictable and can happen at any time. It’s important to be prepared for any outcome and ensure your children are safely seated in your car. If you or your loved one has been injured in a car accident, hire a personal injury lawyer to help you recover compensatory damages. 

Get in touch with us at Lewis & Castagliola, P.A to consult with a personal injury lawyer. We have experience in all types of auto accident cases in Florida and can help you get justice.