Numerous reports suggest that over 30,000 people die in motor vehicle crashes in the United States every year. In South Carolina, experts share that close to 1,000 people lose their lives annually in motor vehicle crashes. Statistics also suggest that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death and injury among children over the age of one. Across South Carolina and the United States as a whole, safety while driving is paramount.
South Carolina has adopted various strategies to enhance road safety, such as the development and enforcement of child passenger safety policies. If you’re a parent in South Carolina, the state’s car seat laws are important to follow for your children’s safety.
Let’s break down the various South Carolina car seat laws. Typically, car seat laws in South Carolina usually apply to rear-facing car seats, booster seats, forward-facing car seats, and seat belts. Below is a brief explanation of everything you need to know about car seat laws in South Carolina.
What Are Car Seat Laws in South Carolina?
Car seats are protection systems aimed at protecting passengers who are too small to enjoy the full safety benefits of adult seat belts. They’re designed to keep children secure not just in an accident, but during the whole drive.
South Carolina car seat laws basically provide guidance on the installation and use of car seats in the state. A recent study suggests that when properly installed, child safety seats can potentially reduce the risk of infant death by 71 percent and that of toddlers by 54 percent.
Additionally, choosing the right car seat for your child is highly essential. Experts establish that choosing the right car seat for your child usually depends on the child’s age, weight, and height.
The car seat laws in South Carolina are mainly derived from the recent recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Child Passenger Safety Program, which aims to reduce the number of children’s deaths from motor vehicle crashes.
South Carolina Rear-Facing Car Seat Laws
South Carolina car seat laws clearly stipulate that it is imperative for infants under the age of 24 months to be secured in rear-facing car seats in the back seat of the vehicle. This should be done until the infant exceeds the height and weight limit stated by the car seat manufacturer. In addition, South Carolina car seat laws state that the child safety car seat must satisfy all the established federal safety standards.
What Are the South Carolina Forward-Facing Car Seat Laws?
According to South Carolina car seat laws, children between the age of two and four should be secured in forward-facing car seats in the vehicle’s back seat. This is also applicable to children who have outgrown the rear-facing car seat or those that weigh between 20 to 39 pounds. Noteworthy is that forward-facing car seats should be used until the toddler exceeds the prescribed height and weight limit by the manufacturer.
What Are the Child Booster Car Seat Laws in South Carolina?
South Carolina car seat laws state that children ages four and older who have exceeded the prescribed weight and height limit of their forward-facing car seat should be secured in a booster seat in the vehicle’s back seat. The booster seat must be used alongside a lap and shoulder belt.
Also, according to the car seat laws in South Carolina, a booster child safety seat should be utilized until the toddler is either 57 inches tall or eight years of age.
This should be done until the child is able to safely use an adult seat belt.
South Carolina Children Seat Belt Laws
A child at least 8 years old or is at least 57 inches tall may be secured by an adult safety belt. However, as a parent, you should ensure that the seat belt properly secures your child and is capable of keeping them safe.
In addition, the law provides that a child can use an adult seat belt if they are unable to utilize a standard child passenger safety system due to medical reasons. However, these reasons must be clearly outlined by the child’s physician or an advanced medical practitioner in a written document.
Consequences of Violating South Carolina’s Car Seat Laws
Car and booster seat violations are usually met with serious penalties in South Carolina. For first-time car seat violations, defendants are often served with a $150 fine. However, if you can prove to the court that you have since acquired a child-restraint system that satisfies South Carolina’s legal requirements, the fine may be waived.
Contact David Aylor Law Offices to Discuss Car Accident Injury Compensation
No matter how well-versed you are in South Carolina’s car seat laws, accidents may happen. If you or your children have been injured from a car collision, hire an experienced attorney to help you protect your potential entitlement to compensation. Our experienced attorneys at David Aylor Law Offices will be able to help you. Don’t hesitate to contact us today on 843-548-1574 and book a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Should I register my car seat in South Carolina?
Although it is not required by law, registering your car seat with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the manufacturer is highly essential. By doing this, you are capable of receiving frequent notifications on car seat safety guidelines as well as any recall information from the manufacturer.
What are the car-seat replacement laws after an accident in South Carolina?
As it stands, South Carolina does not have laws that deal with the replacement of car seats after a motor vehicle accident. However, numerous experts recommend that you should replace your car seat after an accident since car seats tend to lose their structural integrity making them unable to competently protect your child.
When can your child sit in the front seat in South Carolina?
As per South Carolina laws, a child can sit in the front seat if they are older than eight years, provided you use the appropriate restraint system. Similarly, your child can sit in the front seat if the car does not contain a back seat.