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What are Georgia's child safety laws for vehicles?

If you are a parent, one of your nightmare scenarios is likely the possibility of being involved in a car accident while your children are in the car. You can drive as defensively as you can, but that does not mean that every other driver is being as careful as you, and a serious, injury-producing accident can happen that has little or nothing to do with how well you were driving at the time.

Your second line of defense when it comes to protecting your children when they travel with you in an automobile is to understand and comply with Georgia's safety laws governing children in cars.

The child safety laws depend heavily on the age of the child; the younger the child, the stricter the precautions must be. The threshold age is eight. If your child is not yet eight years old, you are required to have an approved safety seat or booster that is also appropriate for the child's height and weight. You are also subject to restrictions on where the child may ride in the vehicle; he or she must remain in the back seat of the car unless other passengers have already taken up all of the back seat space, in which case you can have the child ride in the front (but you must still comply with the safety seat or booster requirement).

One exception to the general rule requiring the use of a child safety seat or booster is for children who are taller than 4' 9". These children may use seat belts instead, but if they are not yet eight years old must remain in the back seat.

And of course, all children eight years of age and older must wear a seat belt.

Aside from general safety considerations, from a legal perspective complying with Georgia child safety laws for cars also reduces your risk of being found to be negligent if you are involved in an accident, so that you lessen the possibility of having any damages award reduced under Georgia's comparative fault law.

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