New York Child Car Seat Laws

man installing child car seat in the backseat of car with black leather interior

Nothing your car carries is more precious than your child. New York has strict car seat laws that aim to keep kids safe if the unthinkable happens, but these laws change as new technology and information become available. How do these car seat laws impact you and your family? You already drive safely, but what other precautions can you take to keep your kids safe while you’re on the road?

What Are the Child Car Seat Laws in New York?

New York’s car seat laws require parents to keep their children in rear-facing seats until they are at least 2 years old or meet minimum height and weight criteria. Studies suggest that rear-facing seats are significantly safer for young children because they provide better support to the head and spine in the event of a crash. New York law enforcement can fine drivers up to $100 for car seat violations.

New York Booster Seat Requirements

New York has other child passenger restraint laws in effect, too. All children in moving vehicles must remain in appropriate child restraint systems, such as booster seats, until age 8. The New York State Department of Health says most children need booster seats from age 4 until 10 or 12.

Who Is Liable for a Child’s Injury in a Car Accident?

Not all car accident cases are black and white. Sometimes more than one party can be held responsible for your child’s injuries. It takes evidence and a complete investigation into the cause of an accident to uncover who may be liable for damages.

Examples of parties who may bear partial or total liability for an accident can include:

  • At-fault drivers
  • Other road users (such as cyclists, work crews, and pedestrians)
  • Car or parts manufacturers
  • Manufacturers of defective child seats

Tips on Installing Car Seats

Car seats reduce children’s risk of crash injuries by 71 to 82 percent, but the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) estimates an alarming 9 out of 10 car seats are installed incorrectly.

Before you install a car seat, review the product’s instructions carefully. Every car seat is different, and some have unique features or locking mechanisms you should know about.

Next, inspect your vehicle. Be sure seat belts are functional and there is room for the car seat. You should also look through your vehicle’s owner’s manual, as it might indicate the best place for car seats and whether your vehicle includes car seat anchors.

Finally, install the seat according to the instructions. The seat should fit snugly in the car without being able to move more than an inch in any direction.

If you are unsure whether the seat is installed correctly, you should seek help. One option is to contact the NYCDOT for a free car seat inspection.

Contact Our New York City Car Accident Lawyers

Did you or your child get hurt in a car accident caused by a careless driver or due to a defective car seat? At the Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., we want to help you recover the compensation your family deserves.

Let us review your case for free. Contact our New York office for your initial legal consultation today.

For over 40 years, David H. Perecman has distinguished himself as one of the leading personal injury lawyers in New York City, championing all types of personal injury cases including construction accidents, premises accidents, automobile accidents, and medical malpractice, along with employment discrimination, false arrest, and civil rights cases.