DMVs in different countries have different rules concerning the safety of motorists. The question that we are looking into today is ‘What are the car seat laws in Florida?’.
Taking babies along on a drive definitely needs some care so as to make sure that the precious bundles of joy (well, not always) are safe.
What is the first thing we do when we get inside a car with a baby? Switch on the blaring music! Certainly not! According to the DMV, a baby needs to have his/her own federally-approved child car seat. Kids these days huh? getting their own seat. Also, according to the new regulation, children below the age of five are supposed to be seated in a booster seat (if you are thinking about a seat with turbo boosters, you are so wrong!). The booster seat makes sure that the baby is comfortable and secure and also an elevated seating position so that you can check on them now and then through your rear-view mirror. Also, make sure that you pick up a booster seat that fits your kid right with the shoulder belt laying across the chest and not the neck and the lap belt goes across the upper thigh and not the stomach.
My baby is so little and so cute, I just want to keep seeing him/her
Babies from birth till they start to move around on their own are so cute we agree. But, while travelling with a baby who is at least less than a year old, would need to be seated in a rear facing child car seat. You will have all the time to keep looking and admire the baby once you have reached your destination.
What do we do when the babies grow out of the booster seats?
The cute little humans tend to grow up without us noticing it. And one fine day they no longer fit into the booster seats that you got them (it was just yesterday!) Now depending on the stature of the little human, you can have them seated separately but still in a child seat with the harness and the seat-belt making sure they are secure.
Can I have my baby riding shotgun?
We always want to have our babies right by our side so that we can keep an eye on them or admire those cute little expressions while they sleep. You have plenty of time to do that when you are not driving!
Generally, the airbags in the front seat are designed to be deployed at the slightest chances of impact. And the force at which they are deployed is enough to send someone flying. Since babies are fragile, it is recommended that they are seated in the rear seat so that in situations when the airbag is deployed, it doesn’t cause any harm to them.
If you want your kid riding shotgun, you would have to wait until they are at least 13 years old (5 more years and they are off to college)
My baby is 5 years old now. Can I seat him like an adult?
5 years old? The baby is a kid now and knows how to take care of himself/herself (you wish!). You want to treat your kid as a grown up and give him/her their own seat? Well, make sure that your kid is at least 59 inches tall and weighs in at about 80 pounds (ah, this gives me a sense of the announcement that is made when someone is entering a ring for a bout) so that they do not slip away even with the seat belt being on.
Those car laws are for babies, what about for a grown up like me?
(Don’t get grumpy there, you big baby) Let’s get to the part about the laws for us grown-ups.
If you are the driver, make sure that you always wear your seat-belt, and make sure that everyone in the car is wearing the seat-belt (if not, you will be the one getting a ticket from the traffic marshal!)
And the rest of the laws as put forth by the DMV at the time of issuing your driver’s permit, do not drink and drive, do not use your cell phones or your hand-held devices while driving, always go the speed limit mentioned (at least in the city limits) and please please make use of the indicators while attempting to turn or change lanes!