< Back to All Insights

Child Passenger Safety & Restraint Use: a State-by-State Analysis

Tony Tramontana

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for a child passenger in the United States.

Child safety seats are required in every state because they’re proven to maximize safety for a child passenger in the event of a car accident. Using a car seat reduced the risk of death to infants by 71% and to toddlers by 54%. Sadly, child restraint systems are often used incorrectly, or sometimes, not at all.

There’s a reason car manufacturers are required to display warning labels regarding airbags because the airbag deployment zone is extremely dangerous for young passengers. Airbags deploy with tremendous force and speed, which can cause serious injury or death to a child.

This is why it’s recommended that most children, 13 years or younger, sit properly restrained in the back seat of a vehicle.

Child Car Seat Laws in Louisiana

Age and size-appropriate child restraint use is the most effective method for reducing injury and death among child passengers.

The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission (LHSC) regulates our state’s child passenger safety laws. More specifically, Louisiana state law requires:

  • Children less than 12 months old, or less than 20 lbs., must be restrained in a rear-facing child safety seat.
  • Children aged 1 to 4, or 20-40 lbs., must be restrained in a forward-facing child safety seat.
  • Children 4 and 5 years old, or 40-60 lbs., must be restrained in a booster seat.
  • Children age 6 to 13, or more than 60 lbs., must be restrained in either a booster seat or a seat belt regardless of seating position.
  • When the passenger side front airbag is active, children younger than age 6, or less than 60 lbs., must be in the rear seat, if available.

Child car seat laws are not suggestions. Violations of the child restraint laws are standard offenses. Drivers with child passengers can be ticketed and fined for breaking child safety laws; in Louisiana, fine amounts increase with subsequent violations.

Fortunately, Louisiana offers extensive help for drivers in need of assistance with their child safety seats and restraints. There are numerous technicians available to provide education and installation assistance should it be necessary.

Vital Statistics: A National Overview

While all states have child safety seat laws, these laws are not the same state-to-state. This is also the case with mandatory safety belt laws; some states have secondary enforcement of such laws, which means a driver can’t be pulled over simply for not wearing his seat belt; and some state laws don’t cover passengers sitting in the back seat.

For example, New Hampshire is the only state without a mandatory safety belt law. Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, and Montana, among others, have secondary enforcement laws.

Louisiana, California, Texas, and Florida, to name a few, utilize primary enforcement, meaning the driver may be cited solely for belt law violations, and the law covers all passengers in a vehicle.

According to the CDC, restraint use among children often depends on the driver’s seat belt use. Almost 40% of children riding with unbelted drivers were themselves unrestrained.

In other words, children who see their driver buckle up are more likely to do so as a passenger.

The CDC also notes other disparities in seat belt use among children: black and Hispanic children are more likely to not be buckled up compared to other groups; older children (8-12 years old) are more likely to be unbuckled compared to younger children (4-7 years old).

See the IIHS page below for state details regarding enforcement of safety belt laws and at what age a child must be in a child restraint or booster seat:

Thousands of people die every year because they don’t buckle up. Children watch our behavior behind the wheel, so it stands to reason that despite the particulars of your state’s enforcement, buckling up is a good way to instill these important safety precautions in a child passenger, who will eventually become a teen driver.

The CDC, in combination with state agencies and other organizations like the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), are developing strategies to increase seat belt and child restraint use in Louisiana, and across the board.

This includes adopting primary seat belt laws in all states, incentive and education programs for parents, and seat belt checkpoints, to name but a few.

Child Passenger Safety

Child passenger safety is everyone’s responsibility. If you have any questions about an auto accident or injury caused by a negligent driver or defective child restraint, we at the Monroe Law Office of J. Antonio Tramontana want to hear from you.

For a free case review, please fill out the form to the right, or call us directly at (888) 982-1290.

Contact Us

<   Back to All Articles

Related Posts

Driving Laws for Elderly Drivers in Louisiana

In the United States in 2014, an estimated 221,000 people, age 65 and older, were injured in motor vehicle accidents and 5,709 were killed. These elderly people comprised 17% of the total traffic-related fatalities that year and 9% of traffic-related injuries. A year later, 4,366 people, age 70 and older, were killed in motor vehicle accidents, which is a […]

Read More
Louisiana's Poor Road Conditions Might Be Causing Car Crashes

Drivers all over the state of Louisiana are facing high costs when it comes to operating their vehicles, and poor road conditions might be the most harrowing. A recent article in The Greater Baton Rouge Business Report stated how bad the road conditions actually are in Baton Rouge, and there’s evidence of major road troubles […]

Read More
Civilians May Be Investigating Louisiana Auto Accidents Soon

If you find yourself in a future fender bender in New Orleans, don’t be surprised if a civilian is the one investigating it. The city recently green-lighted a plan for common folk and possibly retired police officers, under the management of a New-Orleans based “civil traffic accident investigation and support” firm, to be given contracts […]

Read More
Louisiana Accident Laws and How They Differ from Other States

If you were injured in an auto accident in Louisiana, your personal injury case is subject to a different set of rules than had you been in another state. Louisiana is a direct action state, which means parties injured in a car accident can name an insurance carrier in a lawsuit. This is not something […]

Read More
A Campaign to Reduce Fatal Accidents in Louisiana

From 2014 to 2016, more than 90 people were involved in fatal accidents in Tangipahoa Parish. That statistic, according to a campaigner working to reduce the number of avoidable deaths, is too many, and indicates that change is needed in Louisianans’ driving habits. Donna Miller, Tangipahoa Parish President Robby Miller’s wife, is a local businesswoman […]

Read More
US 90 Through South Louisiana is Named State's Most Dangerous Highway

A recent study has identified US 90 running through South Louisiana as the most dangerous highway in the entire state, also reportedly the 13th most dangerous highway in the country. A recent study has identified US 90 running through South Louisiana as the most dangerous highway in the entire state, also reportedly the 13th most […]

Read More
New Study Says Louisiana is Stressed Out

Louisiana certainly has its share of leisure and entertainment activities, and it is well-known for its live music and street festivals. However, a new study shows that people who live in the state are generally stressed out. WalletHub recently ranked all U.S. states according to a stress survey it created, which compiled results and gave […]

Read More
The 10 Most Dangerous States to Drive In

Even though fatal car crashes in the United States have decreased in number, traffic collisions remain a grave problem. It’s a promising sign that there were approximately 10,000 fewer accidents in 2014 than in 2004, but 32,675 people were still killed in auto accidents. The Most Dangerous States Baed on Fatalities Even though fatal car […]

Read More
Bicycle Laws in Louisiana: What Cyclists Need to Know

Riding a bike, especially on public roadways, is about more than learning to balance on two wheels: it’s something that drivers, as well as cyclists, must take seriously or risk injury or even death. To stay safe on shared roadways in Louisiana, cyclists should become fluent in the state’s bicycle laws to minimize risk to […]

Read More
10 Worst Auto Insurance Companies in Louisiana

Louisiana Car Insurance Companies: Reactions 64% of Americans are less than "fully engaged" with their insurance company, according to a new Gallup poll.  And our youngest generation, the so-called millennials, are the least engaged of all!  This post breaks down: Why Louisianans hate their insurance companies A list of the 10 Worst Auto Insurance Companies What […]

Read More


Every case is unique. We want to hear from you about your medical malpractice or personal injury case.
Contact Us
© 2024 All Rights Reserved – J. Antonio Tramontana – Personal Injury Attorney
Privacy Policy
crossmenucross-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram