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Car Seat Safety and Michigan Law

Car crashes have proven to be one of the main causes of death for children ages 1-14. According to the University of Chicago, nearly 30 percent of children who died in a car accident were not properly restrained in a car seat. In comparison, only 18.3 percent of children that are restrained in an appropriate car seat have died when involved in a car crash. Studies show that properly restrained children have a more than 50 percent greater chance of surviving a car crash than children that are unrestrained. It is extremely important to carry out the proper safety precautions when traveling with a child to keep them safe in case you are involved in a collision.

Car Seat Laws for Younger Children Ages 1-4

According to Michigan law, all children ages four years and younger must be in a car seat that is positioned in the back seat of the vehicle. However, if there is no back seat in the car, or there is not enough space in the back seat for the child’s car seat, a child may ride rear-facing in the front seat, as long as the airbag is turned off. Children must be positioned in a rear-facing car seat until the age of two, then a forward-facing car seat from the ages two to four years old under Michigan Law.

What is the Law Regarding Car Seats in Michigan?

In Michigan, a booster seat or car seat is required until the child reaches the age of eight or grows to be taller than four feet nine inches. When a child reaches at least one of these achievements, the child can ride without a booster seat or car seat in the back seat of the car. After the child turns eight or grows to be taller than four feet nine inches, it is simply required that the child is positioned in a properly adjusted seatbelt that fits their body correctly while traveling.

When Can a Child Start Sitting in the Front Seat?

While airbags are meant to protect adults, they cannot protect children nearly as well in the event of a car crash. Therefore, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends that all children under the age of 13 remain buckled up in the back seat until they turn 13. Once they turn 13 it is deemed safe to allow your child to sit in the front seat while traveling in a car.

How to Safely Install a Car Seat

Proper installation is the first and most important step when implementing a safe car seat for your child. When installing a car seat for your child, be sure to follow the detailed directions that come with the car seat as accurately as possible. For maximum safety, place your child’s car seat in the middle seat of the back seat of the car in order to decrease the risk of injury. If you are ever having trouble installing a car seat or have any questions, the best person to contact would be a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician that can usually be contacted through the National Certified Passenger Safety Certification Program that will help you to find an inspection station near you. You can also find a CPST near you through the website, At, they can help you to find a local CPST as well as schedule an online consultation for a personalized car seat check option in which you do not have to leave your house.

Is it OK to Buy a Used Car Seat?

Buying a used car seat is a viable option for your child as long as you are certain that it meets all of the requirements prior to your purchase. Before buying a used car seat, make sure that it comes with instructions, a label that shows the date the car seat was made and its model number. Also, make sure it does not look damaged or have any missing parts. Lastly, make sure that the model of car seat has never been recalled by the seat maker for flaws, it hasn’t expired or isn’t more than six years old, and it has never been in a crash in the past.

Many child passenger deaths and car accident-related injuries can be prevented by the proper use of car seats for younger children, as well as the use of seat belts for older children and adults. Make sure that your kids are always properly restrained and that you are setting a good example for them by consistently putting on your seat belt in order to keep you and the people in your car safe at all times.

If you or someone you know has been involved in an auto accident, tell them to call the experienced team of injury lawyers at Femminineo Law. Femminineo Law can be reached anytime at 855-65-CRASH or by contacting us.

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