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Car Seat, Booster Seat & Seat Belt Laws in Los Angeles, California

At Land Legal Group, our Los Angeles, California car accident attorneys know how important seat belts are to driver and passenger safety. Even with new technology, including intelligent airbags, which are designed to work in tandem with seat belts to provide maximum safety, and automatic braking systems, seat belts remain the first line of defense for vehicle occupants during a traffic collision.

While the United States has reported seat belt use rates of nearly 91%, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 47% of the nearly 37,000 traffic fatalities that occurred on U.S. roadways last year were those who were not wearing seat belts.

Our Los Angeles car accident lawyers believe that when our community understands the vehicle restraint laws in California, they can make informed decisions about their safety.

To assist in delivering up to date safety information, to follow is a list of our California car seat, booster seat, and seat belt laws.

How Long Does a Child Have to Ride in a Car Seat in California?

The current California Car Seat Laws state that all children must be restrained in the back seat of the vehicle in a car or booster seat in compliance with the height and weight outlined in the manufacturer’s instructions listed on the model until the child is either:

  • Over eight years old
  • Over 4’9” tall

Smaller children must be restrained in a rear-facing car seat when they are:

  • Under 40 inches tall
  • Weigh less than 40 pounds
  • Two years of age and younger

Once the child has reached the height, weight, and age requirements to move to a forward-facing car seat, parents are responsible for installing the car seat properly to ensure safe travel.

The California Department of Public Health provides educational materials, resources, and access to car seat inspection services to help give parents peace of mind and keep their little ones safe.

How Old Does a Child Have to Be to Ride in a Booster Seat in California?

Car and booster seats have their height, weight, and age requirements specifically outlined on the packaging and in their instructions, which allows adults to make informed purchases regarding their child’s safety — especially as the children grow.

The current guidelines state that children can typically move from a car seat to a booster seat after reaching 65 pounds. Since all children grow at different speeds, it is important to research booster seats that fit your unique child’s needs, so you are not jeopardizing their safety.

How Old Should a Child Be Before Using Just a Seat Belt in California?

When it comes to seat belt use, the height of the child is the most important factor in their safety.

The child must be AT LEAST 4’9” to begin using a seat belt instead of a booster seat.

The child must also be AT LEAST eight years of age to begin using a seat belt instead of a booster seat.

Does Everyone Have to Wear a Seat Belt in California?

The California Department of Motor Vehicles states that all ages of drivers and passengers — who are eligible for seat belt use — are required to wear a seat belt while inside a moving vehicle.

What Should I Do If I Was Injured in a California Car Accident?

Wearing your seat belt does not remove the hazards of negligent driving that occur on our roadways. It does, however, significantly increase your chances of surviving a car accident. If you have been hurt by a negligent driver, contact our experienced Los Angeles car accident attorneys at the Land Legal Group today by calling (310)552-3501 to schedule a free consultation. Our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers will walk you through the legal process and provide the solutions you need to pursue the negligent party who caused your injuries, so you can focus on your recovery.