Car Seat Laws Washington State

The Washington state car seat laws will change in January 2020. When youngsters should switch from one type of seat to another, it is made plain by the new law. The safety of each successive seat type progression is reduced, so kids must stay in each seat for as long as possible.


Washington Car Seat Laws Rear-Facing

According to a journal Injury Prevention study, infants in rear-facing car seats had a 500% reduced chance of injury during an accident. Car seats that face rearward support and move with a newborn, easing the strain on their growing neck and spinal cord.

A harness system is built into a rear-facing car seat to protect your child’s head, neck, and spine. A 5-point harness ensures the highest level of safety. Rear-facing car seats have been known to provide noticeably more elevated levels of security for kids under the age of two since 2020. As long as feasible, or until the child reaches the maximum weight or height given by the seat, it is Washington state car seat law to keep them rear-facing.

Until your child outgrows the seat, they should ride in a convertible or all-in-one seat facing backward, especially if they were initially using a rear-facing-only seat.

These car seats, commonly known as “infant seats,” are specifically designed for rear-facing use with infants. However, it’s important to note that infants typically outgrow seats designed exclusively for rear-facing around 8 or 9 months.

The mentioned seat has the flexibility to transition from a rear-facing to a forward-facing configuration. Manufacturers differ in size.

All-in-one seat: This seat has a booster seat and is also convertible.    


Washington State Booster Seat Law

When they outgrow their car seat that faces forward, use a booster seat until the seat belt fits correctly.

Until the seat belt fits properly without a booster seat, Washington state car seat laws state that children who outgrow their forward-facing car seat should be belted up in a belt-positioning booster seat in the back seat.

When the shoulder belt is over the middle of the shoulder and chest (not across the neck or face, and not off the shoulder), and the lap belt is across the upper thighs (not the stomach), the seat belt fits correctly. Children typically experience this between the ages of 9 and 12. To ensure the child no longer requires a booster seat, check the seat belt fit in every car the child will ride in. Seat belts might vary from vehicle to vehicle. A child may occasionally require a booster seat in one car but not another.

Washington State car seat laws state that children must be restrained in a system that meets US Department of Transportation Standards until they are 8 years old, or 4’9″. They must also be secured in the vehicle according to the manufacturer’s instructions, which the car seat manufacturer must follow.


When Can a Child Sit In The Front Seat Washington

  • After completing each of these steps, your child can ride safely without a booster seat:
  • The child’s back is resting on the car seat.
  • The child’s knees bow near the seat’s edge.
  • A lap belt lies across the thighs, not the abdomen.
  • Between the neck and the shoulder is the shoulder belt.
  • A child does not fiddle with the seat belt or slump.

If your youngster is younger than thirteen, they should stay in the backseat. Wearing a seat belt is required. Your youngster will be more likely to wear seat belts on all of their journeys if they see you and the other passengers in the car do so.

Injuries to the neck, head, and spine are linked to older children’s improperly fastened seat belts.

Driving a motor vehicle becomes against the law if any passenger under sixteen isn’t securely fastened in an approved child restraint system or isn’t using a safety belt. For individuals aged sixteen and above operating motor vehicles, wearing a securely fastened safety belt is obligatory.


The Laws Are Created To Save Lives

Before embarking on a trip across this picturesque state with your children, it’s a good idea for parents to familiarize themselves with Washington state car seat laws.

Washington State boasts stunning mountains, beautiful forests, and the vibrant city of Seattle, which ranks among the nation’s top cities. Given that car accidents are a leading cause of young people’s fatalities, these regulations are in effect for their protection.

Remember that rules can—and often do—change as data gathering and technology advance. Don’t hesitate to contact Mulvihill Law immediately if you need any more information or have any queries about these laws.