When it comes to car rides, it is essential to follow the proper guidelines for child car seats. Maryland has strict laws in place to ensure the safety of young passengers in vehicles, and it is important to understand these laws to protect your child. To know more details about Maryland Car Seat Laws, read more now!
Child Car Seat Safety Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 1 through 13. In fact, the agency reports that in 2019 alone, 610 children under the age of 13 died in motor vehicle crashes, and thousands more were injured. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that child restraint systems, such as car seats, reduce the risk of injury by 71-82% for children.
Maryland’s Child Passenger Safety Law
This law requires all children under the age of 8 to be secured in a child passenger safety seat or a booster seat, unless they are taller than 4’9” in height. The law also requires that all children aged 8-16 must wear a seat belt, no matter their location in the vehicle.
Maryland Infant/Toddler Car Seat Law
This law requires all children under the age of 2 to be secured in a rear-facing car seat, unless the child is taller than 36 inches or weighs more than 40 pounds. It is recommended that children remain in a rear-facing car seat until they outgrow the seat by height or weight.
Maryland forward-facing Car Seat Law
This law requires that children who have outgrown their rear-facing car seat must use a forward-facing car seat, until they are at least 4 years of age or weigh more than 40 pounds. It is recommended that children remain in a forward-facing car seat until they outgrow the seat by height or weight.
Child Booster Seat Laws in Maryland
This law requires that children who have outgrown their forward-facing car seat must use a booster seat until they are at least 8 years old or are taller than 4’9”. Booster seats help position the seat belt correctly on the child’s body.
Leaving Child in Car Law in Maryland
This law makes it illegal for a person to leave a child under the age of 8 unattended in a motor vehicle, unless the child is being supervised by someone over 13 years of age.
Taxi Car Seat Law in Maryland
This law requires that any child under the age of 16 traveling in a taxi must use a seat belt or a child safety seat that meets the size and weight requirements for the child. If the taxi does not provide a child safety seat, the parent or caregiver must provide their own.
Maryland Safety Belt Laws for Children Under 16 Years of Age
- Age under 7: For children aged 0-7 and shorter than 4 feet 9 inches, a child safety seat is mandatory.
- Age from 8 to 16: If children are 8 years or older, and at least 4 feet 9 inches tall, they can use either a child safety seat or a seat belt.
- Age under 16: Children under the age of 16 must use a child safety seat or a seat belt.
Maryland’s Updated Child Passenger Safety Law
Maryland has recently updated its CPS law to bring it in line with other neighboring states. Children under the age of two must face towards the rear of the vehicle while in a car seat. To ensure maximum safety, it is recommended that children continue to face the rear until they reach the weight limit of their convertible or all-in-one car seat.
The new law allows for exemptions, however, these are rare and apply only to children who are particularly tall or heavy for their age, meaning most children under the age of two must continue to face the re
The Penalty for Violating Child Car Seat Laws in Maryland
In Maryland, the penalty for violating child car seat laws can be a fine of up to $500. The law requires that all children under the age of 8 be secured in a child safety seat or booster seat, unless the child is 4’9″ or taller. Failure to comply with this law could result in a hefty fine, as well as putting your child’s safety at risk.
When Must I Put My Child in a Car Seat in Maryland?
Maryland law requires that all children under the age of 8 be secured in a child safety seat or booster seat, unless the child is 4’9″ or taller. Additionally, all children under the age of 13 should ride in the back seat of the vehicle, when possible.
It is recommended that infants and toddlers be secured in a rear-facing car seat until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by the car seat’s manufacturer. It is important to read and follow the instructions provided with the child safety seat to ensure proper installation and use.
Is it Illegal to Smoke in a Car with a Child in Maryland?
Yes, it is illegal to smoke in a car with a child under the age of 8 in Maryland. Violators can face fines of up to $50 for the first offense and up to $100 for subsequent offenses.
What is the Minimum Age to Sit in the Front Seat of a Car in Maryland?
According to Maryland law, children under the age of eight must be secured in a child safety seat or booster seat in the back seat of a vehicle. However, a child who is at least 4’9” or older can legally sit in the front seat.
Do You Have to Wear a Seatbelt in the Back Seat of a Car in Maryland?
Yes, all occupants of a vehicle in Maryland are required to wear a seatbelt, regardless of where they are seated in the vehicle. This includes the back seat.
Can I Put My Three-Year-Old in a Booster seat in Maryland?
Maryland law requires that children under the age of 9 be secured in a child safety seat or booster seat in the back seat of a vehicle. However, if the child is at least four years old and weighs at least 40 pounds, they can use a booster seat with a lap and shoulder belt or a forward-facing car seat with a harness in the back seat of a vehicle. Children under four years old must use a rear-facing car seat in the back seat of the vehicle.
Following Maryland’s car seat laws can greatly reduce the chances of serious injury or death in the event of a car accident. It is the responsibility of every parent to ensure the safety of their child while on the road. By staying informed and following the proper guidelines for child safety seats, we can help protect our children, reduce the risk of harm, and prevent unnecessary tragedies on the road.