Like every other state in the country, Arizona has a child car seat law. These laws tell you when a child must ride in a car seat or booster to avoid a traffic citation. The legal requirements set the bare minimum for transporting your child safely. The law does not prohibit you from doing more to protect your child from car accident injuries.
If you get into a crash with your child riding in your vehicle in Phoenix, AZ, the at-fault driver’s lawyers and insurer will scrutinize your compliance with Arizona child car seat laws. A lawyer from Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers can review your actions to ensure you can pursue a claim for your child’s car crash injuries.
How Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Car Accident in Phoenix, AZ
Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers was founded in 2011 to assist accident victims in Phoenix, Arizona. The firm has represented more than 3,000 injured clients and recovered over $30 million in compensation since its founding.
If you or a loved one gets injured, our Phoenix car accident attorneys can provide:
- A free consultation to help you understand your rights and options
- The resources to stand up against insurance companies for a fair settlement
- Lawyers with over 55 years of combined experience to fight for you in court
Car accident injuries can jeopardize your child’s future. Contact Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers to discuss your child’s injuries and the compensation you can seek to help them meet their future needs.
How Many Children Get Injured in Car Accidents?
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of child injuries. Due to their small size and inexperience in dealing with traffic, children can get hit in pedestrian accidents, particularly when they dart into traffic. Children also get injured in bicycle accidents when vehicles collide with them.
Arizona’s car seat laws apply to children under eight years old. The state does not provide statistics for this age group. According to the 2021 Crash Facts report, Arizona only gives statistics for traffic injuries and deaths for children under nine years old.
According to these statistics, children under nine years old suffered:
- 19 fatal injuries
- 1,641 non-fatal injuries
These numbers included two children killed and 50 children injured in pedestrian accidents.
Unfortunately, Arizona does not report the number of children restrained in car seats. Using national statistics, car seat use by young children reduces the risk of injury by up to 82%. The use of boosters by older children reduces the risk of injury by up to 45%.
Car Seat Laws in Arizona
Car seat laws fall into two broad categories. One category contains laws like those in Illinois in which the state prescribes the type of car seat children must use at each age or height. The other category broadly states that drivers must use child restraint systems but leaves the type largely up to the driver. Arizona’s law falls into the second category.
Arizona’s car seat law applies to all children under eight years old. It covers two stages.
Children Age Zero To Five
All children under five years old must ride in a child restraint regardless of their height or weight. To take an extreme example, if you have a four-year-old child who is five feet tall, the child still needs to ride in a child restraint under Arizona’s law.
Children Age Five To Eight
On your child’s fifth birthday, they graduate to the next stage of the law. Children five or older will stay in a child restraint until they either turn eight years old or grow to four feet, nine inches in height. Upon the first of these events, your child no longer needs to ride in a car seat.
The law does not tell you which style of car seats you should use at each stage. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a policy statement outlining the best practices for selecting the appropriate car seat for your child’s age and height.
Doctors recommend keeping your child in a rear-facing car seat until they grow out of the seat. You should use the rear-facing car seat for at least the first year. When in the reclined position, the seat supports the child’s developing neck, reducing the risk of neck or back injuries.
After they grow out of the rear-facing car seat, they graduate to a front-facing car seat. This seat should have a harness rather than using the car’s seat belt. A five-point harness better restrains the child’s body from ejection in a crash.
When the child outgrows the front-facing car seat, they can graduate to a booster seat. The booster relies on the car’s seat belt to restrain the child. The booster lifts the child high enough so the seat belt crosses the shoulder and chest rather than the neck.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Experienced Phoenix Car Accident Lawyers
A car accident can injure your child seriously enough to require expensive medical treatment. A car crash can even permanently disable your child. Contact Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers in Phoenix, AZ for a free consultation to discuss your child’s injuries and learn how to seek compensation for them.