In the year 2018, 2754 people (under 19 years of age) get injured in car accidents in the state of South Dakota.
South Dakota car seat laws bound the parents to use the appropriate car seat for their child under 12 years of age along with a standard restraint system.
The correct use of baby car seats could minimize the number of deaths and fatal injuries to children in road accidents.
Current Car Seat Laws in South Dakota
South Dakota car seat laws for children under twelve years of age should be accurately restrained in the car seat under the standard child restraint system.
The child should not sit in the front seat, and the parents should extend their child’s car seat rear-facing period to make sure that they are wise and strong enough to withstand car crash injuries when shifted to forward-facing.
Let’s discuss child car seat laws in South Dakota by age.
1. South Dakota Car Seat Laws for Rear Facing Child
According to the South Dakota car seat laws 2022:
“All newborn babies will be rear-facing in moving vehicles until they have crossed the age, weight, and height for that car seat.”
As recommended by the child passenger safety experts, the upper age, weight, and height limits to stop using rear-facing car seats are:
- Age Limit: 2+ years
- Weight Limit: 30+ lbs.
- Height Limit: 30+ inches
These are the standard limitations that may vary among the best car seat brands. Rear-facing car seats are designed for children of age 0-2 years. Their bodies are fragile and still under development.
They are made to sit rear-facing so that the solid back of the baby car seat would shield them from life-threatening car crash injuries.
2. South Dakota Car Seat Laws for Forward Facing Child
As stated by the South Dakota car seat laws,
“When your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat limits, they are allowed to ride forward-facing while restrained with a standard child restraint system.”
Rear Facing vs Forward Facing Statistics shows that kids in a rear-facing car seat are less likely (96%) to get severe crash injuries compared to forward-facing children.
Therefore, parents must know when to upgrade from infant car seats. The wisest decision for the child’s safety is to extend the rear-facing at least 3 years or 4 years.
3. South Dakota Booster Seat Laws 2022
South Dakota booster seat laws state that:
“A child who have grown to 4 years and have a height of 35+ inches can use a booster car seat (high back) while a child who is 8+ years and has a height of 57+ inches can use a backless booster seat.”
With each transition, the safety of your child would decrease. Booster car seats should be properly installed.
Reliable Booster Seat Age South Dakota
Both booster car seats have different requirements, and so is their safety level. Keep in mind the following instructions while using any one of them.
- High-back booster car seats are considered safer for kids below 8 years
- Backless booster car seats are safe for kids above10 years
- Do not use the reclining mode for booster car seats while installing without a latch system
- The preferred place for booster car seat installation is the middle seat on the vehicle’s back seat. and make sure that the car seat is perfectly touching the seat back (there should be no gap between the car seat and the vehicle back)
- Ever forget to buckle up an unoccupied backless booster car seat when because it will be highly dangerous in car accidents
4. South Dakota Seat Belt Laws
Under South Dakota car seat laws, the legal age for using the seat belt is 12+ years.
In case of a car seat law violation, the guilty will have to pay $25.
There are certain standards listed below to check whether you are accurately wearing the seat belt or not and teach your kids how to wear the seat belt safely.
- The shoulder belt should be away from the neck and in the middle of the chest
- Position the lap belt across the hips and not the stomach
- Never rest the shoulder belt under the arm or/and behind the back
For further understanding of parents and children, we have linked a video below to understand how to wear a vehicle seat belt.
Besides knowing the basic car seat laws and limitations, the parents must know some of the life-saving facts for the safety of their child.`
We have answered below a few questions that could save you from penalties and troubles in South Dakota.
When can my child sit in the front passenger seat in South Dakota?
When your child is 12 years old is allowed to sit in the front seat. Children younger than 12 should not sit in the front seat.
Note: f you do not have any option except the front seat, you should restrain them adequately and never forget to turn off the airbag.
Is it illegal to smoke in the car in the presence of a child in South Dakota?
According to South Dakota car seat laws, the parents, driver, or any other passenger is not allowed to smoke in the presence of a child.
Cigarette smoke is highly injurious to a child’s lungs and respiratory system.
Is it illegal to leave a child alone in a car in South Dakota?
South Dakota car seat laws don’t define any penalty or regulation for leaving a child unattended in the car.
However, according to the NHTSA rules, the parents cannot leave a child unattended in the car under the following conditions:
- Either restrained or not,
- Under 6 years
- For more than 15 minutes
- They could get injured
Note: in the year 2018, 54 children died in the car because of being unattended and alone in the car in the US.
Can you use an expired car seat in South Dakota?
There is no defined law for not using an expired car seat in the South Dakota car seat laws.
However, NHTSA defines it as illegal to use a car seat that has expired because the expired car seat is not guaranteed by the car seat manufacturers to be safe for your child.
What are the South Dakota car seat laws for taxis and rented vehicles?
South Dakota car seat laws exempted private buses and rented vehicles, including taxis, from the car seat laws.
However, if you have your child’s car seat, you should take it with you, either traveling in a rented vehicle, because they are equally susceptible to road accidents as your car would be.
Baby Car Seat Installation & Use
We have listed a few very informative video for parents who are learning to use car seats. You can watch it to learn how to install a car seat and what tips and care instructions you should keep in mind while traveling with a child.
Car Seat Usage Guidance and Help Centers in South Dakota
For the residents of South Dakota and the visitors to this state, the following help centers would provide you guidance regarding child car seats and safety.
- NHTSA Car Seat Recommendations
- American Academy of Pediatrics Car Seat Recommendations
- American Automobile Association Car Seat Guide
- Is it illegal to leave a child in the car?
- Best Practices & Recommendations
- South Dakota Department of Public Safety – Seat belts and Car Seats
- Bans on Smoking in Vehicles Carrying Children
- South Dakota Safety Council – Occupant Protection
Here, we will end our discussion about South Dakota car seat laws 2022. The laws are simple and for the safety of your child.
Therefore, instead of paying the fines for not using a car seat or for not obeying car seat laws in South Dakota, it is better to buy and use it.
If you cannot afford to buy a car seat for your child, you should apply for the following free car seat programs. They will ask for some legal documentation and will provide you with a car seat according to the age of your child.