Car Seats And Child Safety: A Review Of Michigan's Law

No matter how old their children are, many parents retain an indelible memory of the drive home from the hospital with a new baby on board.

The presence of vulnerable new life strapped into a car seat in the back of the vehicle raises the ante for parents on driving safely. With the experience of birth so freshly in mind, parents want to do everything they can to protect the precious new addition to their family.

Unfortunately, even the safest of drivers can encounter the risk of car accidents caused by other drivers. It therefore makes good sense to be aware of and comply with child safety-seat laws.

In this post, we will briefly review some of the basics of Michigan's law on child passenger safety.

The most basic thing to remember is that if a child is under age 4, the child must be in a car seat. Those seats are widely available. Acquiring and using them is a rite of passage for families with young children.

If there is a rear seat in the motor vehicle, the car seat for a child under 4 must be placed there.

The law does allow for the possibility of placing such a child in a car seat in the front. This can only be done, however, when there is not enough room in the rear of the vehicle because that room is already taken up by other children under age 4.

Only under those circumstances may a very young child be placed in front. And even then, if the car seat is rear-facing, Michigan law requires that the airbag be turned off.

Source: Michigan State Police, "Child Passenger Safety Law," accessed Jan. 29, 2014

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