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Michigan Car Seat Laws Explained

June 17, 2013 by Steven M. Gursten

Michigan Car Seat Law

What are Michigan Car Seat Laws?

According to Michigan child passenger safety law, Michigan car seat laws require the following:

  • Children younger than age 4 to ride in a car seat in the rear seat. If all available rear seats are occupied by children under 4, then a child under 4 may ride in a car seat in the front seat. A child in a rear-facing car seat may only ride in the front seat if the airbag is turned off.
  • Children to be properly buckled in a car seat or booster seat until they are 8 years old or 4-feet-9-inches tall. Children must ride in a seat until they reach the age requirement or the height requirement, whichever comes first.  During the age range of 4 – 8 years old, Michigan car seat law does not address the issue of the positioning of the children within the vehicle, i.e., whether they must be seated in the rear seat or whether they may be seated in either the rear or the front seats.

What you can do to protect your child in the car

Car crashes are the leading killer of children 1 to 12 years old in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). I say this not to scare parents, but to show that child fatalities due to auto accidents are very common and very real.

But you can easily protect your children by following Michigan car seat laws, putting them in the right car seat and the right time considering their age and weight, and making sure your car seat is installed properly.

Here are some car seat and booster seat basics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

And here are a few NHTSA car seat safety tips:

    • Select a car seat based on your child’s age and size.
    • Choose a seat that fits in your car— and use it every time you drive with your child.
    • Always refer to your specific car seat manufacturer’s instructions. Read the vehicle owner’s manual on how to install the car seat using the seat belt or LATCH system.
    • Remember to check height and weight limits.
    • Keep your child in the car seat for as long as possible, as long as the child fits within the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements.
    • Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.

– Photo courtesy of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Related information:

Can you get a ticket in Michigan for using an “expired” car seat?

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