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Child Safety: Seatbelts and Car Seats

In California children over a certain age are allowed to transition from the booster seat to an adult seat belt. Ages 8-15 may use the adult seat belt, provided the belt fits properly. To make sure the fit is correct, check that:

  1. The seat belt does not lie across the stomach but fits snugly across the upper thighs
  2. The seat belt does not cross the neck or face, but runs across the shoulder and chest
  3. The child is tall enough so he or she can sit with the back against the seat and feet flat on the car floor, the knees bent naturally over the seat’s edge

Car Seats

When buying a child car seat, you need to make sure it fits your child and fits your car, and also that it is straightforward to install and use. There are so many to choose from, so shop around and check reviews and ratings carefully to make sure the seat meets crash performance standards and is user-friendly. Use the NHTSA five-star rating system to determine which seat is best for you and your child. While all seats in the list conform to Federal Safety Standards, this system evaluates ease of use, that is: labels, instructions, ease of installation and ease of securing the child in the seat: https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/seat-belts

It is also a good idea to have certified technicians inspect the seat for you, and you can normally have this done free of charge. To locate the inspection organization nearest you, use the following link: http://www.safercar.gov/cpsApp/cps/index.htm

School Buses Seatbelts

In California there are also seat belt requirements for use in school buses. Seat belts have been found to reduce the risk of death and serious injury in older children by 50%.

As always from all of us at One Day Traffic School, happy safe driving!

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