It seems, almost instinctively, that children want to sit in the front seat of a car. While kids may not appreciate or understand the safety that comes with sitting in the backseat, it is essential to help children make safe choices.
Motor vehicle crashes are among the top causes of accidental deaths in children. There are rules in place outlining when children should be in safety seats, and at what ages they should be made to ride in the backseat.
Here’s what you should know about Florida’s rules and when children must ride in the backseat.
Don’t put away the car seat yet
As your child gets older and asks if they can ride in the car without the safety seat, it can be tempting to leave the car seat behind. Unfortunately, that may not be safe for your child and could have serious consequences.
The small stature of children make them more susceptible to injury in a car crash. In 2018, over 130,000 children were involved in Florida car crashes, with 1,427 of them suffering serious injuries.
Explain to your children the importance of riding in the backseat of the car – safely buckled into an appropriate car seat. As they grow, check manufacturer limits and Florida guidelines for what type of car seat is safest for your child’s age and size.
What about the front seat?
There are some vehicles where the front seat is your only option. When the car you are driving has a backseat, it is important that children ride in the back.
The backseat of the car offers more protection for children in the event of a collision, giving them a better chance that they will have no or fewer injuries.
While the front seat seems like a more exciting place to ride, remind children that they are safer in the back. Encourage your kids to ride in the backseat of the vehicle for as long as possible.