Safety Groups Calling on Florida to Enact Booster Seat Law

by Carmen Dellutri on March 21, 2013

Sarasota accident lawyerAlthough safety groups universally recommend booster seats, Florida parents and caregivers can legally allow children over four years old to use a standard seatbelt. That’s because Florida is one of two states without a child booster seat law.

As Port Charlotte injury attorneys, we join the American Automobile Association and other safety advocacy group in calling on lawmakers to adopt booster seat requirements. Even though they have outgrown traditional car seats, most young children between four and eight years old should not simply use seat belts,  as they are unlikely to fit properly and protect the child in a crash.

As detailed by SafeKids.org, booster seats can make a difference and likely would have saved the life of 5-year-old Jason Santamaria. He was riding in the front seat of his aunt’s car, wearing a standard seat belt, when a truck clipped the vehicle.

According to police, Jason probably would have survived the accident had he been in a car seat or booster seat. “There’s no doubt about it that if the child was in a safety seat we would have been dealing with a different situation,” Homestead police detective Fernando Morales stated. “Child safety seats save lives.”

While booster seats are not yet mandatory in Florida, we urge parents and caregivers to keep the following tips in mind:

  • To get the best protection from a seat belt, children usually need a booster until they are about 4 feet 9 inches tall and weigh between 80 and 100 pounds. Many children will be between 8 and 12 years of age before they meet these height and weight requirements.
  • Use a booster seat correctly in a back seat every time your child rides in a car.
  • Be sure to correctly install your booster seat.  Booster seats are not installed the same way car seats are. Booster seats sit on the vehicle seat and are used to properly position the adult seat belt for an older child.
  • A booster seat uses no harness. It uses the vehicle’s lap AND shoulder belts only. Be sure the seat belt is properly buckled.
  • For children who are riding in booster seats, never place the shoulder belt under the child's arm or behind the child's back.
  • Be sure all occupants wear safety belts correctly every time. Children learn from adult role models.
  • Tell all drivers who transport your child that a car seat or booster seat use is a must when your child is in their vehicles.

The Dellutri Law Group is focused on making bad situations better and putting lives back together. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Port Charlotte accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.

To learn more about your legal options, contact our experienced Port Charlotte injury attorneys for a free consultation.

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