Keeping your young ones safe and secure is a priority of all parents. Florida seat belt laws are designed to keep your children safe. The laws apply to all kids on the roads in Florida, even if they’re not citizens of Florida. Florida car seat laws applied to children are based on their age.
Florida does not have strict rules about what type of car seat your kid needs by weight and age. Instead, we’ll help you understand what kind of car seats your kids should use according to their age.
This article will review the current Florida car seat laws and safety recommendations. These recommendations will be simple to engage and give your infant, toddler, or young kids the best possibility of surviving an accident without injury.
Florida Car Seat Laws
Florida car seat laws require kids to use car seats through age 5. Children between the ages of 0-3 must either use a full, separate car seat or a car seat integrated with the car.
The child must use a full car seat, a booster seat, or a car seat integrated with the vehicle between the age of 4-5.
Children must wear a seatbelt between the ages of 6-17.
Car seat laws in Florida rely on the age of the child. Therefore, even if the child is very tall or short, the law is based on the child’s age. There are no exemptions to car seat laws when children are above or below the specified age limits. Florida car seat laws also require that all car seats and booster seats be properly fastened and secured.
Infant And Toddler Car Seat Florida Laws
Florida Infants Car Seat Law
If you’re a parent in Florida, you’ll want to make sure you’re up to date on the state’s laws regarding infant car seats. After all, keeping your child safe while on the road is paramount.
Florida needs the use of a separate carrier manufacturer’s integrated safety child seat for children up to three years of age.
So, what does that mean exactly? A separate carrier is simply a safety car seat that you buy and install in your car separately from the actual car seat. On the other hand, manufacturers’ integrated safety child seats are much rarer, but they’re car seats installed in the vehicle by the manufacturer.
Florida Toddlers Car Seat Law
When it comes to 4-year-olds and 5-year-olds, Florida’s state needs the use of either a separate carrier, a booster seat or an integrated toddler’s car seat. If you’re caught driving without providing the proper safety measures for your four-year-old or five-year-old, you may be fined.
The fine amount will differ based on whether or not you’ve been cited for the same offence in the past. Toddler car seat laws are put in place to keep children safe, so following them is essential.
Rear Facing Car Seat Florida Laws
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles states that no specific age is mentioned in the state law for rear-facing car seats. Therefore, the best car seat is one that fits your kid perfectly.
Keep in mind that we can refer to the American Academy of Pediatrics, which says, “Fortunately, car seat makers have created seats that permit children to remain rear-facing till they weigh 40lbs or more. That means most children can remain rear-facing past their second birthday,”.
Therefore, it is recommended that parents keep their children in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible.
Forward Facing Car Seat Florida Laws
When can my child turn around in their car seat to face forward? There is no specific age requirement for when a child must transition from a rear-facing to a forward-facing car seat in Florida.
However, experts generally agree that children should remain in a rear-facing position until they weigh between 25 and 45 pounds or are between 2 and 4 years old.
While the law does not explicitly mandate when children must face forward, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles recommends that parents keep their children rear-facing for as long as possible. This is because rear-facing car seats are much safer than forward-facing ones and provide better protection for young children in a crash.
Booster Seat Laws Florida
Florida booster seat laws require that all children under the age of 4 be properly secured in a booster seat while riding in a motor vehicle. However, child safety experts recommend keeping children in a forward-facing seat until they are at least 5 years old.
Booster seats help protect children in a crash by raising them so that the seat belt fits properly over their shoulders and hips. You can find more information about booster seat laws and regulations in Florida by consulting a federally approved child seat manual.
Booster seats must only be used for kids between the heights of 35 inches and 4’9, weighing between 40 and 80lbs.
Florida Safety Belt Law
Florida’s safety belt law requires all drivers and passengers in a car to be properly restrained by a seat belt. This includes everyone in the front seat and all passengers under the age of eighteen in the back seat who must use a seat belt.
In Florida, all safety experts agree that children should be at least 4’9″ tall and at least eight years old before using an adult seat belt. In addition to the age and height suggestions, you should also ensure the following:
- Your child’s whole back is touching the back seat.
- The kid’s knees turn at the edge of the seat, and their back is not slumping over.
- The lap section of the belt crosses as low as feasible and touches the thighs.
- The shoulder section of the belt rests across the collar bone between the shoulder and the neck but does not touch the neck.
- Your child can sit in the seat without slouching and have the seat belt pulled snugly against their body.
Front Seat Law in Florida
In Florida, children under the age of 12 should not ride in the front seat. This is because airbags can deploy with a lot of force and cause severe injuries to children. If you have a kid under 12, make sure they are buckled up using a seatbelt or car seat in the back seat.
Florida Leaving Child Alone in Car Law
Florida car seat laws do not permit parents to leave their children in the car alone for more than 15 minutes if the vehicle is turned off. If it’s on, you can’t leave a child unattended.
Florida car seat laws also require that when a person exits a vehicle, they take all reasonable steps to assure that the car will not roll away. If the person does not do this, and the car does roll out, they can be charged with a misdemeanour.
Smoking in A Car with A Child in Florida
It is not illegal to smoke in a car with a child present in Florida. If you choose to smoke in your vehicle with a child present, there are some things to acknowledge.
- First and foremost, it is vital to ensure that the car is well-ventilated.
- Secondly, smoking in a car with a child present is likely to be considered child abuse or neglect if the child is exposed to secondhand smoke. This could lead to severe consequences, including removing the child from home.
- So, while smoking in a car with a child present is not technically illegal in Florida, it is necessary to be familiar with the potential risks involved.
Taxi Car Seat Law in Florida
Taxi car seats are not required by law in Florida. The parent must ensure their children are properly restrained while riding in a taxi. In addition, taxi drivers are exempt from the child passenger safety laws, so it is up to parents to use a proper system to keep their kids safe.
Replacement After Accident in Florida
If you have been in a car accident in Florida, you may be wondering if you need to replace your car seat. The tiny answer is that no law requires you to do so. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) does recommend replacing any car seat that has been in a crash, even if it appears to be undamaged.
There are several reasons for this recommendation. First, damage can occur even if you can’t see it. Second, a car seat that has been in a crash may not provide the same level of protection in future accidents.
Penalties For Violation
If you break the Florida car seat laws by not having your children in the correct car seats, you face losing 3-points on your license, plus you will have to pay a $60 fine. The cost of the fine may vary by location.
You can attend a car seat security course somewhere, which educates you on the right way to use car seat laws. Attending this class can consequence in you not losing points off of your driving license.
During your court date, the judge you see has the final perseverance on whether you can participate in this class and not have the penalty on your license.
That was our review of Florida car seat laws. We hope this guide has helped clear up any confusion about car seat laws in Florida. Unfortunately, Florida car seat laws are not as safe as other states. You might prefer to use the National Highway Traffic Safety Association’s recommendation instead.
Remember, you are ultimately responsible for your child’s safety. Choose the safest option for them, even if it is more hassle. Your child’s safety is always worth the extra effort. Thanks for reading, and stay safe on the roads!