Ask an Atlanta Car Crash Lawyer: When Is It Safe for Children to Sit in the Passenger Seat?

Our library article "Car Seat Safety Recommendations for Children" discusses the current car seat recommendations for children under four feet nine inches tall.  But what do you do when your child is too old for a booster seat and asks to sit in the front passenger seat? How old is old enough? 
Safety experts agree that the back seat is safest and the longer you wait to allow your child to sit in the front passenger seat, the better.  Most experts suggest not allowing your child to sit in the front seat until he is at least 13 years old.   Other experts suggest that children stay in the rear seat until they are ready to drive.

Why is this such a big deal?

There are two reasons:

  1. The back seat is the safest place for anyone.  Front seat passengers are more likely to sustain injury than back seat passengers.  They are also more likely than rear seat passengers to be thrown through a windshield or be hit by debris.
  2. Smaller children, teens and even small adults have a higher chance of being seriously injured by a deploying airbag.

If your child must ride in the front seat, consider disabling the airbag for that trip.  Many newer models of cars have an airbag disabling switch. 
To learn more about children and airbags, read our library article: "Atlanta Auto Accident Attorney: What You Need to Know About Air Bags and Child Safety".  Remember, you are legally responsible for the safety of every child in your car.
If your child has been injured in a Georgia traffic accident, Atlanta car crash lawyer Shane Smith can help you get the accountability and compensation you need. To learn more, contact Shane Smith Law at (980) 246-2656 to schedule a free consultation with Mr. Smith, or download our free book: "10 Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Georgia Wreck Case."

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