New York Child Car Seat Laws [2024 Update]

New York Child Car Seat Laws

The New York City personal injury lawyers of Rosenbaum Personal Injury Lawyers have over 40 years of experience representing accident victims in New York City, NY. Contact our office now to schedule a free consultation with a New York car accident lawyer to discuss your case. Call us at (212) 514-5007.

New York City traffic-related fatalities have been on the rise in recent years, as have injuries. Despite your best efforts to keep yourself and your loved ones safe, you may still find yourself involved in a vehicle accident in the city. 

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to keep yourself and your loved ones safe, such as following New York’s child car seat laws. If your little one needs to be in a car seat, ensuring that they are can be enough to save their life.

What Are New York’s Laws Regarding Car Seats?

New York State law states that kids under the age of four must ride in a car seat. If your child is under the age of two, they must ride in a rear-facing car seat. New York law also requires all minor passengers to be in an approved restraint system until they turn eight, regardless of their height or where they choose to sit in the car. 

Generally speaking, you should keep your kid in a booster seat until they are tall enough to wear a standard seat belt safely. Even if your child is eight or older, they should still be in a booster seat if they are not tall enough to use a shoulder and lap belt. 

When Can I Take My Kid Out of Their Car Seat? 

As mentioned, New York City requires that children ride in rear-facing car seats until they turn two, regardless of their height or weight. Once they turn two, you can transition them to a front-facing restraint system. 

After they turn four, you can transition them out of the front-facing car seat and into a booster seat. Children should remain in booster seats until they turn eight or are otherwise tall enough to wear a shoulder and lap belt, whichever happens last.

The state of New York also recommends that all children under 13 years of age ride in the backseats of your vehicle. While that provision is only a recommendation, it is one you should consider adhering to, as it can help keep your kid safe. 

Who Is Liable When a Child Gets Hurt in a Crash? 

Typically, the at-fault driver is liable for a child’s injuries during a traffic crash. However, other people may be liable, such as:

  • The other driver
  • The child’s parent
  • Government entities
  • Vehicle manufacturers
  • Car seat manufacturers

If you fail to follow New York’s traffic laws and your child is injured during a crash, you could face civil and criminal liability. Likewise, car (or car seat) manufacturers may be held liable if a product failure contributed to injuries. 

A skilled car accident attorney can assist with determining fault and identifying factors that contributed to your child’s injuries. More importantly, they can help you seek justice and obtain the resources your loved ones need to recover. 

My Child’s Been Hurt – Now What?

Keeping your child in a car seat isn’t just a matter of following the law; it’s the best way to reduce their risk of injury during a vehicle accident. That said, if your kid has gotten hurt in a crash, every second counts.

Call and request medical treatment immediately, then take photos of the accident scene. After you’ve gotten your child the help they need, call a legal professional and let them help you decide what to do next. 

Good Habits Start Early 

Always follow the rules of the road to give your little one the best chance of staying safe while riding in a vehicle. As they get a little older, talk to them about the importance of staying in their car seat and wearing their seat belts. 

Creating good habits early on will promote a lifetime of safety and minimize your child’s risk of being seriously injured in an accident.

Contact Our Child Car Seat Accident Lawyers at Rosenbaum Personal Injury Lawyers

Call our law firm to schedule a free consultation with one of our New York personal injury attorneys. The state of New York places a deadline by which you have to file your child’s personal injury suit after an accident. We are here to help when you need trusted legal advice regarding your child’s injury.