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October 20, 2019

Understanding Georgia Car Seat Laws

georgia's new car seat laws

Georgia Car Seat Laws

Parents do everything they can to ensure that their kids remain safe while inside the vehicle. One of the most important things that parents can do to prevent serious injuries occurring to their kids while on the roadway is to ensure they are properly restrained inside the vehicle. You need to understand what the laws are regarding child car seats as well as the dangers associated with not properly securing kids in a moving car. 

What does Georgia law say about child restraints?

According to Georgia law, children under the age of eight must ride in an approved child restraint system. The driver must provide the proper restraint for all children inside the vehicle according to the child’s height and weight approved by the US government. 

What are the penalties for not using a car seat in Georgia?

Failing to follow the child safety seat laws in Georgia will result in a fine of not more than $50. A second or subsequent offense will result in a fine of not more than $100. 

What can happen to a child not in a car seat?

Statistics show that there are more than 2,600 children under the age of 13 involved in a crash each day in the US. Not using a car seat, or using one that is installed improperly, can result in serious injuries for a child. If you were injured in an accident, speak to a Georgia car accident lawyer at Farah & Farah today. 

It is not uncommon for children to sustain the following injuries as a result of being improperly restrained in a vehicle in a car crash:

  • Broken and dislocated bones
  • Severe lacerations
  • Internal organ damage
  • Internal bleeding
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Whiplash injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Concussions

The type of seat is important

These injuries can lead to major medical bills as well as lifelong disabilities for a child. Car seats should be appropriate for each child’s height and weight to prevent serious injuries. While you should always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for proper guidelines. Generally, there will be three types of seats used by your child. 

  • Rear-facing car seats are used for newborns and infants, and they differ from seats used by older children. These seats play a vital role in keeping smaller children safe. When a crash occurs, the rear-facing seat ensures that the impact is spread along the shell of the seat. You should never turn these seats around until the child is developmentally ready. This can result in serious injuries to the spine, neck, head, and brain. 
  • Convertible car seats, or convertible car seats, are for those transitioning from rear-facing seats when a child has reached a certain height and weights. This is the type of seat a child is usually in the longest. 
  1. Booster seats will be used before a child has reached a height and weight necessary for just the lap and shoulder belts, but has outgrown a car seat. 

Properly installing your car seat in Georgia

Just as important as having a child safety seat is ensuring it is properly installed. If you are not sure you have installed a seat correctly, you can take the seat to various locations in your area that have a technician trained to install and inspect the seat. Often, these locations are fire stations, police stations, or hospitals. 

Georgia Seat Belt Laws

Wearing a seatbelt is the best way to save lives in the event of a motor vehicle accident happens. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), seat belts are responsible for reducing the risk of serious injury in a crash by 50%. They also reduce the risk of death in a crash by 45%. With that information in mind, you should understand the laws in Georgia regarding the use of seat belts. 

What are the Georgia seat belt laws?

Georgia law requires all drivers and front-seat passengers to wear a seat belt. Additionally, all passengers aged 8 to 17 are required to wear a seat belt, regardless of where they are seated inside the vehicle. Infants and children under the age of eight face additional requirements under the law, which we will explain below. 

How much is a ticket for not wearing a seat belt in Georgia?

If you are pulled over and issued a citation for not wearing a seat belt in Georgia, you will face a ticket and a $15 fine. If you are cited for a passenger in your vehicle aged 8 to 17 not wearing their seat belt, you will face a fine of $25. 

Do you have to wear a seat belt in the back seat in Georgia?

Passengers who are over the age of 18 do not have to wear a seat belt when they are in the back seat. However, it is highly recommended that everyone inside a motor vehicle wear the appropriate restraints. 

Please note that Georgia law also prohibits anyone under the age of 18 from riding in the open bed of a pickup truck. Failure to comply with this could result in a misdemeanor violation. 

The importance of wearing a seat belt in Georgia

Even if you are not required by law to wear a seat belt, you should do so anyway. Georgia can be crowded, with plenty of locals and out of state drivers on the roadways. Not only do we have many tourist attractions throughout the state, but Georgia is also a major pipeline for those traveling to other places in the country.

According to statistics from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, we know there were almost 400,000 vehicle crashes during the last full reporting year. Out of those incidents, there were:

  • 1,430 fatalities
  • 19,405 serious injuries

Unrestrained drivers and passengers inside a vehicle are much more likely to sustain injuries or become a fatality. It is not uncommon for us to see the following injuries in a victim of a crash without seat belts being used:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Bone fractures
  • Loss of or damage to a bodily organ
  • Dismemberment or amputation
  • Significant disfigurement
  • Other injuries that inhibit a person’s daily activities

These injuries can significantly impact a person’s life. Not only will a victim face major medical bills, but they could be looking at disabilities that prevent them from working or enjoying everyday life.

Seat belts will not prevent an accident, but they can prevent:

  • Drivers and passengers from being ejected from the vehicle in a crash.
  • Passengers in the vehicle from slamming into each other, the steering wheel, the dashboard, or the windshield in the event of a crash.

Even if your seat belt is uncomfortable, think about the consequences of not wearing one. Buckle up, and make sure your passengers do the same.

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