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What are the requirements of the new car seat law?

The state laws that govern transportation are constantly being adjusted and updated to reflect growing understanding in safety and traffic issues.

This year is no different — beginning on January 1st, 2017, all children who are younger than 2 years old must be restrained in a rear-facing child seat when riding in a vehicle, unless or until the child exceeds 40 pounds in weight, or grows past 40 inches in height.

Previously, the law stated that some form of booster or car seat was required for children under the age of 8 or those shorter than 4 feet and 9 inches tall. For parents of children who will affected by the change, it is helpful to know what rear-facing seat options are available.

Currently, there are three viable kinds of rear-facing car seats available. A rear-facing-only seat is exactly that — it only has one use, and usually is mounted in a base that can be left in a vehicle so that users do not have remove them entire system with each use. In fact, many parents find it useful to have multiple bases for separate cars, which can be purchased separately.

Convertible seats are also a good option for many parents, especially those with multiple children in various stages of car seat use. A convertible-style rear-facing seat can be used as a rear-facing, and then converted to a front-facing seat when the child reaches the appropriate age or weight.

Finally, a 3-in-1 seat adds the option of not only a rear- and front-facing seat, but also converting it into a booster seat when the child has reached the appropriate age and weight to be in only a booster.

Ultimately, laws like these recognize that accidents can happen to anyone who is on the road, and children deserve to be protected to the best of a parent's ability. However, even when proper precautions are taken, injury and wrongful death can occur in an automobile accident. If you have been injured in a car accident, the guidance of an experienced attorney can help you determine if you have a claim that may require fair compensation for your losses.

Source: HealthyChildren.org, "Rear-Facing Car Seats for Infants & Toddlers," accessed Dec. 02, 2016

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