Every state has car seat laws designed to protect children should a car accident occur.  However, not all state car seat laws are the same.  In order to protect your children and comply with car seat laws in Georgia*, it is important to understand what Georgia law requires – and what it doesn’t.

In Georgia, all children under age six must be in appropriate car seats for their age, height, and weight.  Generally, Georgia law requires that infants under the age of one and 20 pounds be in a rear facing child safety seat; toddlers less than 40 pounds should be in a front facing child safety seat; and young children under age six should be in a booster seat. Older children, up to age 17, must wear seat belts.

Exceptions to Georgia Car Seat Laws

While the Georgia car seat laws may seem strict, there are several important exceptions to the general rules described above.  For example, Georgia does not require children to be properly restrained in school buses, taxi cubs, or on public transit.  Georgia law permits children to ride in the front seat if no rear seat is available.  Georgia law also allows children to be secured only by a lap belt if no shoulder seat belt is available.

As a parent, you need to decide whether you are going to allow your child to travel without a federally approved child safety seat if the situation would create an exception to Georgia car seat laws.  The exceptions are practical solutions to real and reasonable situations, but they do not provide your child with the same degree of safety as do the general Georgia car seat requirements.

If your child has been hurt in a Georgia car accident, your child may be entitled to damages, even if the accident happened while your child was travelling according to one of the exceptions to the state seat belt law. 

For more information about your child’s rights, please contact an Alpharetta and Atlanta car accident attorney at 770.518.1133 or via our online contact form.

*Source: Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, Georgia Child Passenger Safety Law, August 2010.