Whether as a driver or a passenger, getting around in a motor vehicle is something many of us do every day. It can be easy to forget that being properly secured with a seat belt, child car seat, or booster seat can be the difference between life and death. Having your children properly secured in a vehicle is not just safe—it’s the law. As a parent or someone who regularly transports young children, you have a responsibility to understand what the child safety seat and seatbelt laws are in Mississippi.
Child Car Seat Laws For Safely Seating Young Children In Mississippi
According to the Mississippi State Department of Health, car accidents are a leading cause of accidental death in children. Additionally, one-third of children killed in car accidents are not in car seats, in booster seats, or wearing seat belts. Because of these risks, the state legally requires children to be secured in certain safety seats depending on their age, weight, and height. Under Section 63-7-301 of Motor Vehicles and Traffic Regulations, the following apply:
Mississippi Car Seat Law
- Children Under Two Years Old. Children under two must travel in rear-facing only seats or convertible seats; these may only be placed in the back seat.
- Children Under Four Years Old. They must be secured in a properly installed child passenger restraint device or system meeting applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards; violators will be fined $25.
- Children Under Seven Years Old. A child who is at least four years old but under seven is required to use booster seats, also known as a shoulder positioning devices. A child who is at least 65 pounds or at least four feet, nine-inches tall is not required to wear a booster seat.
Child Car Seat Laws and Safety Tips
The above requirements are just the bare minimum that you are to comply with, but keep in mind that there are other best practices for car seats that can improve your children’s safety:
- Never let kids ride in laps, cargo areas, or pick-up trucks.
- When you install a car seat, make sure to get a tight fit between the restraint system and the vehicle seat.
- Speak with your child’s doctor to learn if they require any special restraints.
- Never use pillows, books, or towels to boost your child up in their seat.
- Always stay informed on the latest car seat safety and recent car seat recalls.
When Can A Child Sit In The Front Seat?
While there is no law that regulates what age children are allowed to start riding in the front seat of a car, the state of Mississippi recommends that children under 13 years of age stay in the back seat primarily due to their height.
If your child is injured in a car accident, our lawyers are standing by ready to assist your family in your time of need. Contact Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman to learn more about your legal rights.