Your child’s safety should be a top priority whenever you travel by car. Texas law is quite strict regarding children’s passenger safety, including the type of seats they should ride in, where in the vehicle they can sit, and the ages at which changes to these factors are permitted. 

Nevertheless, rigid as they may be, following the state’s laws will help ensure your children are properly protected when you’re on the road with them.

Texas Law for Child Passenger Safety

Generally, Texas law states that once a child reaches the age of 8, they no longer need to sit in a special child safety seat and can instead solely use a seat belt. 

However, if the eight-year-old does not yet measure 4’9”, it’s best for them to continue sitting in a safety seat until they more properly fit into an adult seat belt.

The Four Stages of Child Safety Seating

Child safety seating is typically broken down into four distinct phases, each of which is based on your child’s age and height. These stages include:

  • Rear-facing seats
  • Forward-facing seats
  • Booster seats
  • Adult seat belts

The rear-facing seat is what your baby will ride in from the moment they’re born. They’ll face the rear of the vehicle so that they are better protected from rapidly deploying airbags in the event of an accident. 

Infants often remain in rear-facing seats until around their second birthday, but you should consider the weight and height restrictions placed by the car seat’s manufacturer.

A forward-facing seat is commonly used for children between the ages of two and four. Toddlers can remain in a forward-facing seat until they’ve reached the weight limit set by the manufacturer, which is usually about 65 pounds. 

Booster seats come next. Kids should remain in the booster seat until at least the age of eight and longer if they haven’t reached the appropriate height of 4’9”. From there, kids can start sitting in the vehicle without a booster seat, as the car’s seat belt will sit where it should on the child, across their chest and lap.

Allowing Children To Sit in the Front Seat

Most child safety seats are meant to be used in conjunction with a car’s back seats, as they offer much more protection than the front passenger seat, especially for smaller children. Even after a child has reached the appropriate age and height to use an adult seat belt on their own, they should remain seated in the back of the vehicle. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that children 12 and younger should always sit in the back seat, secured in their correct child safety seat. As such, you should not allow your child to sit in the front seat until they’ve reached the age of 13.

Child Safety Seating And Car Accidents

Car accidents happen every single day, and these collisions serve as one of the leading causes of child deaths. Fortunately, the use of car seats can reduce the risk of injuries in a car crash by upwards of 82%.

Nevertheless, if you’re involved in a collision and your child does suffer harm, it’s best to seek legal help from a qualified car accident attorney. They can thoroughly investigate your case to determine the cause of the crash and assist you with obtaining favorable compensation for related expenses and losses. 

Vehicular accidents aren’t always preventable. But with proper car safety seating, your children are better protected, giving you greater peace of mind. 

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in Fort Worth, TX

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth personal injury lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.

Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 300
Fort Worth, TX 76107
(817) 420-7000

Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
109 York Ave Suite #201
Weatherford, TX 76086
(817) 409-7000