Starting January 1, 2015, more Florida children will be kept safe in child safety seats designed to minimize injuries and save young lives. The Florida Child Safety Seat Law was implemented by the Florida Legislature just this year. The law came after 14 years of battling for Florida legislatures to strengthen the state’s notoriously weak child safety seat requirements. Now, all children ages four and five must be in a child safety seat while riding in the car. Our Miami personal injury lawyers report that appropriate safety seats must be state approved and meet certain minimum safety requirements.
The revised law marks an important step towards reducing the number of child deaths in the state and improving overall child safety. Children in child safety seats are better protected in the event of a crash. By including four and five year olds in child safety seat requirements, the Florida Child Restraint Law has expanded safety across the family. Studies have unanimously found that the use of age appropriate car seats and booster seats greatly reduces the risk of serious or fatal injury for young children.
Under the new law, all four and five year olds must ride in a state approved child car seat or booster seat. Harsh penalties will be lobbed against those that fail to comply, including fines of $60 and up to three points applied on their driver’s license.
Some children will need to sit in booster seats beyond the age required by Florida law, depending upon the child’s size. The FLHSMV provides guidelines to parents in assessing whether a booster seat is needed after the age of five. These guidelines recommend that children should remain in a booster seat until:
- The child is at least 4’9” tall;
- The child can sit at the back of the seat and bend his or her knees at the edge of the seat;
- The shoulder belt should stretch across the child’s chest, not the neck; and
- The lap belt lays flat across the child’s upper thighs, not the stomach.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a booster seat reduces the risk of serious injury for children between the ages of four and eight by 45 percent, as compared to just using a seat belt. Booster seats raise the child to the required height so that the seat belt can offer appropriate restraint.
The attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano are proud to see this latest amendment to Florida law aimed at reducing the risk of child injury and death. We hope that parents will take heed and place their young children in appropriate car and booster seats so that in 2015 we will see a substantial decrease in child related car accident injuries and deaths.
Greenberg Stone and Urbano: Assisting Child Accident Victims
All parents want to keep their children safe at any cost. Unfortunately, sometimes car accidents that involve children will occur to even the safest of drivers. If your child is injured in a car accident, you will need the representation of the very best to ensure he or she receives the recovery deserved. The Miami personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Greenberg Stone and Urbano have over 130 years of collective experience zealously fighting for the recovery of child and other accident victims. Our dedication and commitment to excellence has earned us recognition as a top South Florida firm by the Miami Herald and an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule an appointment so that we can begin mounting your successful personal injury action.