Every state has their own set of car seat laws, and Indiana is no exception. Since these laws were written with the safety of children in mind, it makes sense for parents and guardians to follow them exactly to ensure a child’s safety when on the road.
What the Law Says
The Indiana car seat laws for 2020 says that all children who are in a motor vehicle and traveling in Indiana must be secured in a child safety seat if they are under the age of eight. Additionally, the seat that is used has to meet federal safety standards for parents to avoid problems with the law.
Additionally, while a child who is eight years old doesn’t have to be restrained in a car seat, all children between 8 and 16 years old must be restrained using a vehicle seat belt. If there is not a vehicle seat belt available or it does not work for the specific child, then a child restraint system can be used.
Children who are in a safety seat or are protected by a child restraint system must be properly secured. Parents and guardians need to follow the recommendations of the manufacturer to ensure that they are using the system or seat properly.
Exceptions to the Indiana Car Seat Law
There are a few exceptions to the Indiana Car Seat Law. If a child is more than 40 pounds, then they can be secured with a lap belt, as long as they meet the following conditions.
First, the child can’t be sitting in the front passenger seat or in the operator seat.
Second, the vehicle must not be equipped with both a shoulder and lap belt system. If there is a shoulder and lap belt system, then both the shoulder and the lap belt need to be used to protect the child.
Finally, a child doesn’t have to be secured by a lap safety belt if all of the other shoulder and lap belt systems are currently being used by other children who are under 16 years old.
Medical Exceptions to the Car Seat Law
There is a medical exception that makes it possible for some children to skip the safety restraint system. Only children who have a medical condition, such as a physical condition or a medical deformity, that makes using a safety restraint system impractical, can avoid using them.
Parents and guardians must have a doctor’s or nurse’s certificate with them at all times that verifies this condition. If they do not have this certificate verifying that there is a medical reason why their child is not properly restrained with the safety restraint system, then parents can face problems with the law.
Recommendations on Car and Booster Seats
Understanding the Indiana recommendations for car and booster seats allows parents to ensure that they are keeping their children safe. All children who are under 13 years old should only be allowed to ride in the back seat of the vehicle. However, if the vehicle doesn’t have a back seat, children can ride in the front. The airbag needs to be turned off, and the seat needs to be pushed back as far as possible.
When installing a child safety seat, it’s imperative to follow all of the manufacturer’s directions. Parents need to make sure when they install a seat that it is snug and will not shift. A properly installed car seat will not move more than 1” in any direction. Finally, all children who are under one year old and weigh less than 20 pounds should only be placed in a rear facing seat.
The Indiana Car Seat Law was created to keep children safe when on the road. Following it exactly will allow parents to rest easy knowing that they are doing everything that they can to keep their children safe and will help them to avoid problems with the law.
While the law can be confusing for some people, the most important thing for parents to remember is that they need to properly install their car seat, follow the directions from the manufacturer, and that they need to pay attention to height, weight, and age limits. Doing so will make it easy for parents and guardians to keep their children as safe as possible when on the road.