At What Age Can Kids Sit in the Front Seat of a Car in Destin, FL?

As a Florida parent, you strive to keep your kid safe at home, at school, and while traveling between these and other locations. For this reason, you purchase a child safety seat or a booster seat to protect them in the event of a car crash

However, with guidelines that appear conflicting and fussy children who may not like the seat you purchase for them, knowing what safety device you should use for your child can be challenging.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that using an appropriate car seat for your child can reduce the risk of injury in a crash by as much as 82 percent. Similarly, booster seats can reduce the risk of injury to children who use them appropriately by 45 percent. 

Knowing where and in what seat your child should sit while riding in your car is essential to their health and safety.

Children Should Not Ride Up Front Until They Are 13 Years Old

While your child may need different restraint systems as they grow depending on their height and weight, there is one bright-line rule that the CDC sets forth. No matter your child’s height or weight, they should remain in a rear seat until they turn 13 years old. 

Even if your child can wear a standard seat belt before that age, keeping them in the rear of the vehicle will offer them the greatest amount of protection.

What Your Child Should Ride in While in Your Car

Florida’s seat belt laws specify the type of child seat or restraint that you should use with your young child. The recommended safety device or restraint changes as your child ages. In addition, your child’s height and weight can also impact the device you should use. 

Ensure that whatever car seat or booster seat you use is federally approved and is certified for use on a child of your son or daughter’s age, weight, and height.

Children Ages Zero Through Three

Very young children should be in a rear-facing car seat and should remain in such a seat until they outgrow it. This rear-facing seat should be installed in the rear seat of your vehicle. Do not place your young child in the front seat with a rear-facing car seat, as this can cause serious or fatal injuries to your child if your airbag deploys.

Children Ages Three Through Five

Once your child outgrows their rear-facing car seat, they should move to a forward-facing seat. As with rear-facing seats, forward-facing car seats should be installed in the rear of your vehicle, and your child should continue to use this seat until they outgrow it.

Children Ages Five Through Eight

Next, your child should transition to a booster seat once they have fully outgrown their forward-facing car seat. Even though booster seats work in tandem with your car’s standard safety belts, your child is still too young to ride in the front of the car.

Children Ages Nine and Older

Once your child is big enough that a standard seat belt fits them correctly over the lap and shoulder, they may ride without a car seat. For maximum protection, keep your child in the rear of the car until they are 13 years old.

Car Seats and Booster Seats Save Lives

Using the appropriate child seat for your child can mean the difference between them escaping a car wreck uninjured and suffering injuries. 

Children under 13 should never ride in the front and should transition from one car seat type to the next only when they outgrow the previous seat type. Begin with a rear-facing seat, and transition to a forward-facing seat and then a booster seat as your child ages and grows.

Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Northwest Florida

If you need legal assistance, contact the Destin car accident lawyers at Brannon & Brannon Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.

We have two convenient locations in Northwest Florida:

Brannon & Brannon Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers – Destin Office
4507 Furling Ln Suite 214
Destin, FL 32541
(850) 790-0243

Brannon & Brannon Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers – Fort Walton Beach Office
975 Mar Walt Dr
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
(850) 863-5297