Car Seat Laws in Connecticut

Each year, over 600 children 12 years old and younger die in a motor vehicle crash.

Of the children who died, around 35% were not wearing a safety restraint. Even when a child restraint system is used, an estimated 46% of car seats and booster seats are misused, reducing their effectiveness.

Car seat use helps to reduce the risk of injury during an accident by up to 82%. Ensuring your child is buckled into age- and size-appropriate car seats are not only required by law but are paramount to their continued health and safety.

car seat recommendations and laws in connecticut
Car Seat Recommendations from the NHTSA

Once a child outgrows their rear-facing car seat, they should be moved into a forward-facing car seat. This transition usually occurs around age 5.

The child should remain in the forward-facing car seat until they outgrow the weight and height limits of the seat. You can check the seat owner’s manual or label to discover the weight and height limits.

Keep reading to find out the car seat laws in Connecticut, as well as car accident statistics. 

The Child Restraint Systems Act

The state of Connecticut has Child Passenger Safety (CPS) laws that must be followed. These laws are meant to help protect children from potential accidents.

Road injuries are the leading cause of death in children in the United States. If you properly restrain your child in a car seat, you can reduce the risk of death by 71% to 82%.

Unfortunately, about 1 out of 5 car seats in Connecticut aren’t used the correct way. If you want to ensure your car seat is installed correctly, you can go to a car seat clinic or a fitting station. You can find a child passenger safety technician who will provide both car seat installation and education on how to do it yourself.

Updated laws for Connecticut’s child safety seats took effect on October 1, 2017. The updated laws increased the age and weight requirements for car seats. The change also mandated that child restraint systems use a five-point harness.

With the new laws, Connecticut became the eighth state to adopt recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics. The AAP recommends that children up to the age of 2 should remain in rear-facing child restraints.

Studies in multiple states have found that by increasing the age requirement for car seats and boosters, children who suffer fatal or severe injuries decrease by as much as 17%.

If you fail to follow the car seat laws, you can be penalized with fines.

What Is Child Passenger Safety (CPS)?

Child Passenger Safety can also be called car seat safety. When you go anywhere with your child in Connecticut in a vehicle, you are subject to the laws of the state. It’s the law in Connecticut to keep your child buckled in a car seat.

What Are the Car Seat Laws of Connecticut?

There are several different laws concerning child passenger safety and car seats in Connecticut. They are as follows:

  • Infants must remain in a rear-facing car seat until they turn two years old and are over 30 pounds. The rear-facing car seat must be in the backseat of the vehicle.
  • Toddlers must be in a forward-facing car seat. The car seat should have a 5-point harness and must be in the backseat of the car. The toddler should remain in a forward-facing car seat until they are five years old and at least 40 pounds.
  • Children must be in a forward-facing car seat or booster seat until they reach 60 pounds and are over eight years old. Children who ride in a booster seat must use a lap and shoulder belt.
  • Children, tweens, and teens must wear a seat belt when they ride in a vehicle.

What Are the Fines for Violating Child Passenger Safety Laws?

There are varying penalties for violations of child passenger safety laws.

A first violation is an infraction. You may be subject to a fine or a warning or both. A second violation is an automatic fine of up to $199. After that, each subsequent offense is a class A misdemeanor.

Besides, at either your first or second violation, you may also be required to attend a DMV-approved child car seat safety course. If you fail to attend or do not complete the course, you could have your driver’s license suspended for up to two months.

What Are Other Ways You Can Keep Your Child Safe In a Vehicle?

It would be best if you used car seats and booster seats for as long as the law mandates, and also per the seat owner’s manual. There are also other ways you can help improve your child’s safety while they’re riding in a vehicle:

  • Try to buckle your child in the middle back seat. This is the safest spot in the car.
  • Never put a rear-facing car seat in the front passenger seat where there’s an airbag. Airbags can kill children who are riding in the front seat.
  • Always use your own seat belt to help set a good example.

How Paradiso Insurance Can Help

We understand that for the average family, driving isn’t a luxury. You have to shuttle your children to and from school. You need to take them to practice or lessons, or anywhere else they need to go. While you worry about protecting your child and using a child restraint system properly, let us worry about protecting your vehicle.

At Paradiso Insurance, we have a team of insurance professionals who can help. We’ll work to get you the best coverage tailored to your unique needs.

We are committed to serving Connecticut residents and providing quality car insurance. The people who work at Paradiso Insurance are your neighbors and members of the community. Check out our client testimonials to see what they have to say about working with us.

Paradiso Insurance is a local, independent agency that specializes in various types of insurance needed in Connecticut. With us, you’ll have a multitude of options and can find insurance plans that fit your personal or family needs perfectly. 

Contact us today to learn more about our different Connecticut auto insurance options.

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