Child Safety Seats and Child Restraint Systems in New York: Things to Consider 

Man installs a child car seat in car at the back seat.
Posted: November 29, 2023

About 10 babies each week are treated at hospital emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor-vehicle crashes on New York roads, according to the New York Department of Health.  

The numbers show why babies, infants, and children riding in motor vehicles must be properly restrained in child safety seats or child restraint systems. 

New York law requires that all vehicle occupants be restrained. Anyone looking to transport a child should be familiar with the law. For example, according to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, state law requires that children  

  • Under the age of two are required to be restrained in a rear-facing car seat;  
  • Under the age of four are required to be restrained in child safety seats; and those 
  • All children must ride in child restraint systems until their 8th birthday.  

Child safety seats and child restraint systems are required in New York. All motorists should familiarize themselves with this law, and others relating to the proper restraint of all motorists on New York roads.  

The New York Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee recommends keeping children in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible, but at least until the age of 2.  

It is important to use a car seat that fits the child correctly and is installed in accordance with manufacturer directions.  

According to New York law, the specially designed seat must meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard set forth in 49 C.F.R. 571.213.   

New York car seat requirements  

It is important to select an appropriate child safety seat for your children and follow recommendations provided by its manufacturer, including those regarding weight and height restrictions and requirements.  

As noted, seats and restraint systems must always be certified according to Federal Motor Vehicles Safety Standard 213.   

According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, an appropriate child safety seat    

  • is required for all children under 8;  
  • must meet height and weight requirements;  
  • Can be a car seat, harness, vest, or booster seat attached with the seatbelt system; and   
  • should not be used in the front seat.   

According to the DMV, child safety seats can include infant, convertible, and booster seats. Here’s a bit on each:   

  • Infant seats are intended for those weighing 22 pounds or less and measuring 25 inches or less.  
  • Convertible child safety seats are usually for toddlers or infants weighing 40 pounds or less.   
  • Booster seats are normally for children who have outgrown convertible or toddler seats.  

The imperative of compliance 

Failure to comply with New York law concerning child safety restraints can bring a fine or driver-violation points. It also increases the chance of injury in an accident.   

Hurt in a car? Call William Mattar, P.C.   

At William Mattar, P.C., our car accident attorneys know the law regarding child safety in vehicles and are experienced in advocating for those who have been injured in a car crash. We can help you recover maximum compensation for pain and suffering. Call our offices today, at 844-444-4444, or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Help is available 24/7.

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