New York Child Car Safety Laws

Personal Injury News | January 31, 2022

Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of death among children in the United States. To keep young people safe, parents and guardians must place their children in an appropriate safety or booster seat while a vehicle is in motion. 

New York imposes strict laws on the use of car seats for children and enforces penalties if these rules are broken. It is important for all parents and guardians to be aware of these car seat requirements so that they can protect their children.

Car Seat Requirements in New York State

Under New York law, all children must use an appropriate child restraint system while riding in a motor vehicle until they are 8 years old. Different types of safety and booster seats are required for children of different ages. 

For example, children must ride in a rear-facing car seat until they turn two years old or until they exceed the seat’s height or weight limits. When a child grows out of a rear-facing car seat, he or she must continue to use a convertible front-facing car seat until he or she exceeds the seat’s size requirements.

Children must ride in a booster seat, also known as a harnessed car seat when they grow out of a convertible car seat until they reach eight years old. These seats include manufacturer instructions that detail the maximum and minimum size requirements for children. When purchasing a seat, make sure to ensure that your child falls within these height and weight thresholds.

Penalties for the Improper Use of Car Seats

If a parent does not use a proper car safety seat for his or her child, the state can impose heavy fines and penalties. The fine for failure to use a child safety seat is $50. The state may increase the fine to $100 if the child is under the age of 16 and improperly restrained for his or her height or weight. 

Failure to follow New York car seat laws can result in administrative penalties as well. A parent could receive three driver’s points on his or her license, which could impact insurance rates or result in a suspension.

What to Do After a Car Accident in New York State

Using a car seat can protect children in the event of a car accident. However, these seats do not prevent accidents from happening altogether. Unfortunately, thousands of car accidents take place across the state of New York each year.

If you and your child are injured in a collision, you can experience serious injuries and significant financial hardship. In these situations, you can recover compensation for the losses that you experienced by filing a claim against your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance policy.

Your PIP can cover several accident expenses for you and your child, such as the following.

  • Medical bills related to your accident
  • Approximately 80% of lost wages for up to three years from the accident, for a maximum of $2,000 per month
  • Up to $25 a day for a year following the accident for reasonable and necessary expenses, such as household support and transportation
  • Death benefits up to $2,000 for any person who was killed in a car accident

Securing compensation after a New York car accident can be a challenge. In these situations, it is important to hire a Syracuse personal injury lawyer to represent your case. As soon as possible following your collision, contact a New York car accident attorney to discuss your legal options.