Ohio Car Seat Laws

The safety of your child is likely your main priority, especially when you’re in the car. You can drive as safely as possible to avoid accidents and keep your smaller passengers safe, but there’s only so much that you can control. Other drivers can be negligent and crash into you. Or you could need to brake suddenly, which jolts all passengers.

That’s why it’s important to make sure your child is in a car seat, and the right one according to the law. If you get into a collision or a dangerous situation, you’ll know that your child is as safe as possible in their car seat. When someone else caused the crash, you could use the help of a car accident lawyer to hold them responsible for their actions. At Bey & Associates, we’re prepared to fight for you and your family.

Let’s take a look at the car seat laws in Ohio so that you can follow them for your child’s safety.

Ohio Code 4511.81

Before taking your child with you anywhere in the car, you should make sure that they have the right car seat or booster seat according to their age and size. Even though you might think a seat belt on its own is okay for a child, it’s not—they were designed for adults. Ohio Code 4511.81 specifically outlines what is required by law for a child riding in a motor vehicle of any kind.

Here are the requirements for a child who needs to be in a child restraint system that meets the federal motor vehicle safety standards, otherwise known as a car seat:

  • Any child under 4 years of age
  • Any child who weighs less than 40 pounds

It’s important to note that the law does not specify when you are supposed to switch the car seat from backward facing to forward facing. They recommend you follow the instructions on your car seat for when your child is safe to be riding facing forward.

If a child meets either or both of these above requirements, then they are required to be in a car seat. If they exceed both of these limits, that doesn’t mean they can sit in a regular seat. They might need a booster seat. According to the same law, any child under 8 years of age and shorter than 4 feet 9 inches must be in a booster seat when riding in a car.

That isn’t where the law ends, though. If a kid is between the ages of 8 and 15, but they’re taller than 4 foot 9 inches, they still might need a child restraint system or booster seat if they don’t fit comfortably in the seatbelt. No matter what, they are required to wear a seatbelt.

Need Help Getting a Car Seat?

The fines for not having your child in a car or booster seat can range from $25 to $75 for each occurrence. Those fines can pile up and be more than it costs to get your child the safety equipment they need. If you can’t afford one, then you have options for assistance.

Now that you know what kind of car seat your child needs, you might be wondering where you can get one. If you can afford it, you can get one at most stores that sell child supplies and equipment. However, if you are in a low-income family and need assistance, there is a program that can help you get a car seat to keep your child safe.

The Ohio Buckles Buckeyes (OBB) program along with the Ohio Department of Health’s child passenger safety (CPS) program can provide you with a car seat or booster seat if you meet the requirements for assistance. This program has distributed over 17,000 car seats and booster seats to families across our state, and you could be next.

You Can Trust Bey & Associates To Represent You

Even if you’re following the state’s car and booster seat laws for your child, you could still get into a car accident in Cincinnati that leaves you with damages. The car seat helps keep your kid safe in the event of a collision, but they still might suffer from injuries just like you would even if you’re wearing your seatbelt.

When someone else’s negligence caused your motor vehicle wreck, you could use the help of our car accident lawyer in Cincinnati to get you and your family justice. Reach out to our office today so that we can get started on your claim and get you the compensation you deserve for your damages.

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