New Washington Car Seat Law
Effective January 1, 2020—Are you ready?
By: Meagan Baron
December 6, 2019
Do you, or someone you know, have a child that is 13 years or younger? Washington’s new child passenger safety law will be put into effect on January 1, 2020, according to King County’s Violence & Injury Prevention Department. The changes will have new precautions that will help keep the kiddos safer in vehicles by improving best seat practices based on age and size.
Reading up on 2020 changes will help children in your car be safer if the unexpected happens, as well as help you avoid a ticket if you are ever pulled over.
Currently, Washington does not have a law that specifically states that a child’s restraints must be replaced after an accident occurs, according to Bonney Lake Police Department’s department of Child Passenger Safety. However, the police department did say: “[Washington law] does though require that you follow the child restraint manufacturer’s instructions. The majority of manufacturer’s require replacement even after a minor crash. Be sure to check with the child restraint manufacturer.”
For more details on the new car seat law, visit the Washington Traffic Safety Commission website. You can also find some good car seat 101 information at the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Healthy Children website.
Additionally, as always, it is good to stay up to date on information and to know the current laws in your state. For example, did you know how old a child has to be to sit in the front seat of a car?
If you ever have questions, seek professional help from a reliable resource for safety and laws, including government endorsed websites like those of your local police and fire departments.
Here at Mosaic Insurance Alliance, we want to make sure that you and your family are safe and prepared. Read on for more tips on how to keep your child safe in the car with the proper safety restraints.
How can you help keep your child safe in their car seats, booster seats, and other car safety restraints?
1. Make sure that the car seat is installed correctly.
If you need help with this process, professionals in your area are there to help. For example, Safe Kids Worldwide has a car seat check program that can get you in touch with a child passenger safety technician in your community. You can fill out the automatic form here to help find one near you. Also, your local fire department might be able to help you with installation and inspection to help ensure that it is installed properly and functioning safely.
2. Inspect your car seat right after an accident
Many safety professionals recommend inspecting the restraints after any kind of accident, and that replacing the restraints after any accident is a good safety measure.
3. Inspect your car seat on a regular basis
This can help you be aware of the expiration date and any normal wear-and-tear that might need to be addressed.
4. Be well informed.
Gather up-to-date information from reliable resources. For example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a video on how to find the best car seat.
5. Have a proper car seat.
Car seats need to be equipped for the needs of the child. Weight, height, and age are top important factors to consider. The NHTSA has a car seat finder that tracks down some examples based on information about your child. Car seat manufacturers also have information on their products, manuals, and websites.
6. Bottom Line:
Be aware of the car seat that you use, keeping in mind requirements like age, weight, height, expiration date, replacement measures, and more regulations noted for the model that you have. It wouldn’t hurt to have multiple reminders to inspect your car seat and get a new one before expiration occurs.