Indiana car seat laws are designed to keep children safe while riding in a car. These car seat laws are comprehensive, covering the suitable options for children based on their age and weight.
It is essential to be familiar with Indiana car seat law, whether you are a parent or guardian of a young child or driving a taxi or other form of public transportation. By understanding the law, you can prevent accidents and protect your young ones.
This content has all the details about Indiana car seat laws, what types of car seats should be used according to a child’s age, and many more. So let’s jump into the article without any further delay.
Indiana Car Seat Laws
In Indiana, car seat laws are designed to keep children in approved, size-appropriate seats. These could reduce the potential risk of injuries that follow a car crash.
There are regulations for personal cars and exemptions for taxi drivers and other public transportation. However, consequences can come with failing to obey the law, such as a fine.
All children under 8 must be restrained under safety child protection systems. Safety restraint systems are based on children’s development, weight, height, and age.
According to the law, a person who drives a motor car in which a child under 8 years of age is not correctly buckled and secured according to the child protection system manufacturer’s recommendations by a child restraint system commits a D violation.
Height And Weight Requirements For Car Seats In Indiana
- All children younger than 1 year and weighing less than 20 pounds must ride on rear-facing seats.
- Children weighing at least 20 pounds can travel in a forward-facing car seat at age 1 or more.
- 40 pounds or more is the right weight for a booster seat, as recommended by troopers.
- As per law, children 8 years or older can travel while wearing a seat belt.
Indiana Rear-Facing Car Seat Law
In Indiana, all children younger than 1 year and who weigh less than 20 pounds must be in restrained rear-facing car seats. The suggested rear-facing age limit is 2 years old. Rear-facing car seats are the safest option for infants and toddlers, and Indiana State Police recommends that children should be kept rear-facing for as long as possible.
Today many types of these car seats have a weight limit of 30 t0 40 pounds. This means children may probably exceed the manufacturer’s weight and height requirements when closer to 4years; after that, the child can safely be transferred to the next seat.
A rear-facing car seat should always be restrained in the car’s back seat and always far from the functional bag.
Indiana Forward-Facing Car Seat Law
Forward-facing car seats can be used for kids of 1 year or older weighing at least 20 pounds, but according to recommendations, the best age range for forward-facing is between 2 to 4 years.
Furthermore, as per the Indiana State Police, kids must use a forward car seat until they reach 40lbs. The car seat must be federally approved with an internal harness system. Children can graduate to the next seat when they exceed the car seat manufacturer’s weight and height recommendations.
Forward-facing seats should be restrained in the car’s back seat by following the car seat’s company manual. Also, the harness straps should closely and comfortably fit across the child’s thigh and chest areas for a perfect fit.
Indiana Booster Seat Law
Indiana car seat laws state that children between the ages of 4 to 8 years and who weigh more than 30 pounds can legally sit in booster seats. However, it is recommended that parents restrain their children in forward-facing car seats until they reach 40 pounds. They should only use booster seats when children have outgrown these age and weight limits.
Indiana car seat laws declare that all children under the age of 8 must use a child restraint system that follows the child restraint system manufacturer’s requirements and is safe and suitable for the height and weight of children. Hence the booster seat is the perfect child restraint system for children under this age bracket. Moreover, children under 16 must be restrained appropriately either by using a booster seat or an approved seat belt.
Parents should only move their children to a booster seat when they exceed the forward-facing maximum height and weight limits as set by manufacturers. This means they may be ready to move between 7 to 13 years.
Many booster seats can support a child up to 80lbs who are less than 4’9″ in height, so children can stay in this seat as long as they are within these set limits. Many experts suggest using a booster seat in the back of the car together with lap and shoulder belts to maximize safety.
Indiana Seat Belt Law
Everyone in a moving car from 12 years and above must be properly restrained in seat belts in Indiana. According to Indiana seat belt law, all children under 16 years must use proper seat belts for optimum safety and protection.
Children must use seat belts properly so that the lap belt should cover the upper thighs, not the stomach. Furthermore, the shoulder belt must go across the chest and shoulders, not the face and neck.
Parents must teach the children how to use seat belts in the back seats for optimum protection as long as possible. Children between 8 to 16 years must be restrained either in a suitable car seat or by a seat belt.
At What Age Can Children Sit In The Front Seat?
Indiana car seat laws have not mentioned anything regarding the front seat requirements. United States Department of Transportation suggests that children remain in the back seats until they are 13 years old.
According to law, children above 8 years are permitted to travel while only wearing a seatbelt. They can legally sit either in the back or front seat as protected with a seat belt. But this is also recommended children should only use seat belt when it fits them properly. This generally happens at the height of 4’9″. Proper fit means the shoulder belt lies fit across the chest and the lap belt snug across the upper thighs.
The car’s back seat is the safest place for children as airbags can be dangerous for them during a crash, so try to keep them in the back seat as long as possible.
Leaving Child In Car Law In Indiana
Indiana does not have any specific law regarding leaving a child alone in a car. However, it is not recommended that parents leave their children unattended in a car for better protection, as anything can happen to them. So as a parent, you should protect your young one whenever possible to avoid unnecessary injuries and situations that may occur.
Smoking In A Car With A Child In Indiana
Indiana is trying to make it illicit to smoke with a child passenger in the vehicle. Currently, no law prohibits smoking in cars with children, but it is not right ethically. Indiana state is trying to regulate the law, and a bill has been proposed so that smoking to be abandoned in cars with children.
However, a stringent bill in the senate (Indiana Senate Bill No.34) bans smoking in a car where a kid under 16 years is present. If they are caught while smoking, they can be fined up to $1,000. On repeating the offence a third time, the penalty would be $10,000.
Taxi Car Seat Law In Indiana
Taxis are not required to follow Indiana car seat laws. Taxis are exempt from the Indiana child restraint system, and the state does not provide particular regulations or instructions on whether parents are required to provide car seats in taxis.
As a parent can contact rent-a-seat companies to find and send suitable car seats. You can check various companies which can assist you before your journeys. Ensure that your children are safe during their travels.
Indiana Car Seat Replacement Law After Accident
Indiana car seat laws do not have any precise regulation on replacing car seats in case of an accident. The replacement of a car seat after an accident depends upon the accident’s severity. However, it is recommended that car seats can be replaced to ensure 100% safety of children. However, one may not be required to change a car seat in a minor accident. You can contact NHTSA representatives and learn more about everything you want to know.
Exceptions To The Car Seat Laws
There are few exceptions to Indiana car seat laws.
If your child is in a physical or medical condition, he is eligible for an exception; he doesn’t need to be restrained in a child restraint system. But this exception must be accompanied by a doctor’s written document.
You must have a signed document from the child’s doctor or pediatrician assistant that what the condition is and why it is unsuitable. Keep a copy of this document in your car; if a police officer stops you, you can show the document to them.
There are other exceptions to car seat laws in Indiana. For example, if there is no lap and shoulder harness in your vehicle, children can wear only one lap strap. This exception is for old models of cars, as many cars these days have both lap and shoulder straps.
Other exceptions to the rules include if you are riding in an emergency transport vehicle like an ambulance, funeral car, bus, or taxi. Certain vehicles such as taxis, medical cars, and school buses cannot be restrained, but the standard requirements apply to Uber and Lyft drivers.
Fines For The Violation
Penalties for breaking Indiana car seat laws will include fines that parents and other caretakers must pay. Always follow the car seat or booster seat weight and age requirements discussed above for the safety of your young ones.
Violating the Indiana car seat law is a class D infraction. A class D infraction is considered a minor and least serious traffic offence under state law, it is not viewed as a criminal offence, and the maximum fine for this offence is $25. A violation notification will be recorded on your driving record, but no point will be listed on your driving incense.
It is always essential to keep your child in a suitably restrained system when riding in a car because car accidents are the most common cause of death for children between 1 and 13. Indiana car seat law requires all children under 8 should be secured in a child restraint system following the restraint system manufacturer’s instructions, safe and suitable for the child’s height and weight.
The choice of a rear-facing car seat, forward-facing car seat, or booster car seat depends mainly on your child’s age, height, weight, and type of your vehicle. Knowing the Indiana car seat laws can help prevent severe injuries and death in case of an accident. As a parent, your child’s safety is partly your responsibility when they are moving in a car.
Read this article thoroughly for Indiana car seat laws and other safety tips to save your children during a car crash. Please get the proper seats and safety system for your kids and let them enjoy every journey!