Getting to ride in the front seat is a rite of passage for many. Can you remember when you started riding in the front seat? Your answers may vary greatly. Lets take a look at the proper safety precautions when it comes to kids riding in the front seat.
When properly installed and used, child safety seats reduce the risk of death by 70% for infants and 55% for toddlers. Even when children outgrow their infant seats or child safety seats, parents still need to restrain their children properly in the vehicle. Booster seats are often used in combination with the proper use of lap and/ or shoulder belts. Children should graduate to a lap and shoulder belt and ride in the back seat before considering riding in the front seat. Not doing so can result in serious injury, especially in cars equipped with air bags.
When a child can appropriately sit in the back seat with proper fitting lap and shoulder belt, when can they move to the front seat? If your child does ride in the front seat, consider the following: Does your car have an airbag? Can the airbag be turned off? Does your car have a smart air bag that can detect weight? Air bags are designed to offer protection during a crash; however, anyone riding in the front seat should meet the minimum height and weight restrictions.
State laws are often very specific about what age, height, and weight a child must be to sit in the front seat. It’s in your best interest to follow these guidelines, avoid penalty, and to protect the lives of all passengers in a vehicle.