Georgia Car Seat Laws

Following Georgia car seat laws and seatbelt laws is critical for your child’s safety when riding in an automobile. Get the facts from the expert personal injury attorneys at The Orlando Firm.

The Orlando Firm are your personal injury attorneys with the experience to win.

Georgia Car Seat Laws

Georgia Car Seat Laws

More than 2,600 children under the age of thirteen are involved in car crashes every day. That is one child every thirty-three seconds. So, parents and guardians should take extra precautions to ensure their children are safe.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly sixty percent of car seats are not installed or adjusted properly. This simple yet common mistake can lead to disastrous injuries in a car accident, and in a personal injury case, it may impact the amount in damages that you can recover. Here, the Atlanta personal injury lawyers at The Orlando Firm explain Georgia car seat laws so you’re armed with the knowledge you need to keep your child safe.


Car Seat Laws in Georgia

The lack of or improper use of a car seat is a major contributor to injury or death during an accident. According to the NHTSA, four out of ten children under six years old who are seriously injured or killed in motor vehicle accidents were either unrestrained or improperly restrained. When car seats are used correctly, they are seventy-one percent effective in preventing injury. Further, they are fifty-four percent effective for children between the ages of one and four. Children who are in booster seats are fifty-nine percent less likely to be injured in a car crash than those using a seat belt alone.

Realizing the crucial role car seats play in the safety of children, Georgia lawmakers passed legislation according to their use. When it comes to car seats, the law has the following to say:

  • All children, without exceptions, who are under the age of eight and less than fifty-seven inches tall must ride in the backseat. A child is safest in the backseat, farthest away from the airbag. While airbags are designed to save adults, the force can be fatal for children.
  • Children under eight are required to be in either a car seat or a booster seat suited for their age and height.
  • If there is no backseat like in a truck or there are other restrained children in the back, Georgia law permits a child under the age of eight to be in the front if in the proper car seat or booster seat and the child weighs 40 pounds or more.

Under this legislation, failure to properly restrain a child under eight years old means you could be fined up to $50. Any more violations will carry a fine of $100.

Georgia Booster Seat Law

Booster seats are often the most overlooked part of car seat safety. The goal of a booster seat lessens the risk of injury by helping the seat belt fit properly. But at what age booster seat use is required in Georgia? The age requirement for booster seat use is four through seven for children who are less than four feet and nine inches tall.

When using a booster seat, our firm recommends following Georgia’s booster seat laws:
Use a high back model if your vehicle has low seats and no headrest. You can use a backless model for your child if your vehicle has a headrest.

Use the booster seat until your child exceeds the weight limit or properly fits into a seat belt, even if the child has already passed the age booster seats are required for.
The vehicle must have a lap and shoulder belt if your child is riding in a booster seat.

Georgia Seat Belt Laws

Georgia seat belt laws must be followed by all drivers or they may be subject to fines. All drivers and front-seat passengers are required to wear a seat belt equipped with both a lap belt and a shoulder belt. Georgia is among the best in the nation when it comes to compliance in this area. In fact, ninety-two percent of drivers and front-seat passengers use their seat belts. However, non-compliance is a prevailing issue, even when it comes to children.


Seatbelt Laws in Georgia

Georgia law states that, in addition to the driver and front-seat passenger, all passengers between the ages of eight and seventeen must wear a seat belt. Failure to comply could result in a ticket and a $25 fine for the driver.

Of course, there are exceptions to this according to the Georgia statute. However, most of these exceptions do not apply to children. One of the most notable exceptions is when traveling in a taxi, riding on a bus, or if the passenger has a medical condition that prevents them from being secured. Other exceptions include:

  • Drivers or passengers making frequent stops and exits of the vehicle while making deliveries. This vehicle must not travel more than fifteen mph between stops.
  • Drivers operating a vehicle in reverse
  • Drivers with a vehicle made prior to 1965
  • Rural letter carriers employed by USPS
  • Drivers delivering newspapers
  • Emergency medical technicians

Over 11,300 people were killed in Georgia auto accidents between 2003-2012. This is an average of 1,000 people per year. In some cases, death could have been avoided if seat belts were worn. Not only is wearing a seat belt safer, but it is also the law in Georgia. Additionally, if you or your child was injured in a car accident that was caused by another person’s negligence and you failed to adhere to Georgia’s seatbelt laws, you may be deemed partially at fault for your or your child’s personal injuries, which may impact the monetary outcome of any legal action you choose to take.

Tips for Following GA Car Seat Laws

In Georgia, automobile accidents are a leading cause of death and injuries for children who are ages one through twelve. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 723 children were killed and more than 128,000 were injured in accidents in 2016. At The Orlando Firm, the safety of Georgia’s children is of the utmost importance to us, so we always advise the proper use of car seats by following GA car seat laws and staying vigilant.


Car Seat Laws Georgia

Experts suggest several tips to ensure child safety while riding in a motor vehicle:

  • Children under the age of thirteen should ride in the backseat.
  • Holding a child in your lap instead of putting them in the back could put their life in serious danger.
  • Do not use a car seat that has been in an accident.
  • Always buckle up – even if you are going around the corner. Fifty-two percent of accidents within the US occur within a five-mile radius from one’s home. Sixty-nine percent of accidents occur within ten miles from home.

Georgia Car Seat Law

It is important that parents and caregivers know the law and the best car seat to use for their child. Here are the best practices in finding and using a car seat:

  • Find a Child Safety Seat Fitting Location in Georgia.
  • Use a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible. Only use a forward-facing car seat when your child becomes too tall for a rear-facing car seat.
  • Select a car seat based on the child’s age and size.
  • Always refer to the manufacturer’s guide when installing the car seat.
  • Keep your child in a car seat for as long as possible.
  • Keep your child in the back seat through age twelve.

Georgia Child Seat Laws & Your Personal Injury Case

If your child was in your vehicle during a car accident and was injured, there are likely damages that apply to them as well as to you. As the child’s parent or guardian, you can likely recover monetary damages to help deal with your child’s medical costs and other losses. However, the amount that you can recuperate might be impacted by how you had your child restrained in the vehicle at the time of the accident. This can apply to both a violation of Georgia’s car seat laws and seat belt laws. In a lawsuit, the defendant can argue that the use of these safety seat measures could have limited your damages, so you were partly “at fault” for your child’s injuries.

This basic guideline can still apply even when the parent makes every effort to ensure that their child was safely restrained in a car seat. If you used the improper restraint system for your child’s height and weight, it might have the same impact in your legal case as if your child wasn’t using any type of restraint at all. However, this is a cheap trick utilized by insurers to decrease just how much they pay, and it can be stopped. A skilled Atlanta auto accident lawyer can fight back and help you obtain the full and fair compensation you deserve.

Regardless of whether your child was properly restrained in a car accident, you may still have a legal case. While improper safety seat use can lower your potential compensation, you should not let that prevent you from exploring your legal options after a motor vehicle accident. Contact The Orlando Firm today to schedule a free consultation.

The Orlando Firm are your personal injury attorneys with the experience to win.