Vehicle safety for children has come a long way in recent years. Cars are getting safer, and child vehicle restraints are getting better and better. Still, even the best car seats in the world won’t keep your children safe if they are not used properly. Michigan law requires compliance with certain guidelines to help keep children safe on the road. Here are some basic highlights:
- Children under 4 years old must ride in the back seat, if the vehicle has a back seat.
- If all back seats are occupied by children under 4, a child under 4 may ride in a car seat in the front seat.
- Rear-facing seats may be used in the front seat only if the airbag is turned off.
- Children must be properly secured in a car seat until age 8 or they reach 4-feet-9-inches in height.
In general, children should be kept in a rear-facing, rear seat child seat as long as possible. Sadly, improper car seat usage is a factor in over 40 percent of child fatalities in car crashes. However, proper use of child seats can reduce the risk of injury by 45% to 80% depending on age.