Be Aware of Car Seat Legislation Before Hitting the Highway

Car travel should be safe for everyone, even children. Lou Fusz Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram wants families shopping for a new vehicle to know that auto manufacturers are required to comply with federal seat belt laws, and they do so by designing their interiors to be child safety seat-friendly. Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles may have their own individual features, but one thing they have in common is their compliance to the law.

By the Book

Missouri law says children should stay in some type of safety restraint until age 8. After that age, they are still required to buckle up. The fine for violating the law is $50, plus court costs. The details of the legislation:

• Children younger than age 4 or less than 40 pounds should be in a child safety seat.
• Children ages 4-7 weighing at least 40 pounds must be in a car seat or booster seat.
• Children age 8 or older or weighing at least 80 pounds, or who are at least 57 inches tall, should be in a booster seat or in the back seat until age 12.

In the U.S., car crashes are the number one killer of children ages 1-12. With that in mind, it’s important to find the right car seat for your child’s age and size. Infants should be buckled up in a rear-facing car seat until they are old enough to face forward. The LATCH system in Chryslers, Dodges and Jeeps are designed to keep the car seat or booster seat fastened securely in place.

Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep

Tests done on the 2012 Chrysler 300S, the 2013 Dodge Dart and the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee show all three automakers are making good faith efforts to comply with the law. The tests were done by cars.com and involved strapping a rear-facing infant safety seat, a convertible child safety seat and a high back booster seat into the back seat. The restraint systems were installed side by side, to measure how much room the back seat provides for car seats and how easy they are to install.

The Chrysler has two sets of lower Latch anchors to hook up the car seats, and it accommodates the forward-facing car seat best. Like the Chrysler, the Dodge also has two sets of lower Latch anchors in the back seat, and the buckles in the Dodge are low in the cushions, so children can’t reach them to unbuckle themselves. The Jeep has reclining rear seats which ensure a good fit for the booster seat, and it also accommodates the forward-facing convertible seat very well. The Chrysler and the Dodge vehicles both accommodate two child seats in the back, but the Jeep has enough room to fit all three seats.

The Laws in Other States

If you’re planning to travel, Lou Fusz Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram advises that you study the car seat laws in other states before you go. The laws differ from state to state, and what is okay in one state may not be sufficient in another. Don’t get caught by surprise when it comes to your children’s safety.

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 48 states and the District of Columbia require booster seats or some kind of restraint system for kids who have outgrown their car seats but are still too small for adult seat belts. Florida and South Dakota are the only states without booster seat laws. Five states have gone as far as passing seat belt laws for school buses. Texas requires them on school buses bought after September 2010.

To be prepared when driving with children, it’s best not to go anywhere without a child safety restraint system. Police in Missouri, and everywhere else, are prepared to ticket drivers who don’t buckle up the young occupants in the car. Enjoy your road trip, and remember to travel safely.

Today’s sponsored post was shared courtesy of Lou Fusz Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram.

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