Car and Booster Seat Laws in West Palm Beach, FL

Traveling with children can be a great experience for everyone involved. With your little one in the backseat, you’ll be able to build memories, establish a long-lasting bond, and experience the world the way they do – with eyes full of wonder.

But before you take off, make sure that everyone is buckled in safely. After all, accidents are one of the leading causes of death in the United States. The National Highway Traffic Administration estimates that a car accident happens once every 60 seconds.

You need to make sure to follow every safety guideline while you travel, especially if you have children in tow. The first place to start is with their car seat or booster seat. Keep reading to discover what Florida law says about these devices.

For Children Under Five Years Old

According to Florida law, every child under the age of five must be secured safely in a federally approved child restraint device. Here are the specifics:

  • Children between the age of 0 and 3 need an integrated car seat or separate carrier
  • Children between the ages of ages 4 and 5 need an integrated car seat, a separate carrier, or a booster seat

The safety belt law is actually a primary enforcement law, which means that officers can pull you over and issue a citation directly for any violation.  

For Children Older than Five

A child older than five isn’t legally required to remain in a booster seat. However, many experts recommend that children continue to use booster seats until the age of 12. At the very least, it’s a good idea to keep them in a booster until they are 4’ 9’’ tall.

Florida does require that children remain in the backseat until they are 12 years of age or older. This is because front-seat airbags can be extremely dangerous when deployed. 

Visit a Local Safety Seat Fitting Station

Florida is dedicated to keeping its young travelers safe. The state provides multiple safety seat fitting stations.

To find the closest location to your area, visit the University of Florida’s website, which provides a map of the facilities that can assist you with fitting your seat.

How to Find the Right Seat for Your Child

The best car seat for your child is one that fits, works for your car, and can be used properly. If you’re looking for more guidance, turn to the NHTSA for car seat recommendations for children. 

If you really want to be proactive with your child’s safety, you can even sign up for recall notices and safety updates. Simply register your car seat with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

Other Tips for Traveling Safely with Your Child

The best way to keep your child safe in the car is with a properly installed and fitted car seat. But there are a few other safety habits you can consider, which include:

Activating Child Safety Locks

You don’t want your child to open a door or window while the car is moving. Double-check that the child safety locks are engaged before you hit the road.

Saving the Snacks

Giving a child food while you’re driving can be dangerous. Avoid choking hazards by saving the snacks for later. 

Drive Defensively

This should go without saying, but you can increase safety by driving safely. This means you need to stay alert, follow the speed limit, and avoid texting until you’re safely parked. 

Call an Attorney After an Accident

If you and your child are involved in a car accident, seek medical attention immediately, even if you both feel fine. Then, call an attorney to discuss your legal options.

According to Florida law, every child under the age of five must be secured safely in a federally approved child restraint device. The safety belt law is actually a primary enforcement law, which means that officers can pull you over and issue a citation directly for any violation.