Michigan Car Seat Laws
Michigan car seat laws are set in place in order to ensure that a child is as safe as possible each time he or she becomes a passenger in a vehicle. Booster seat laws can have a variety of rules and restrictions, some regarding weight while others regulate by age.
It is important for each parent or guardian to be aware of the specific rules pertaining to car seats before venturing out on the road.
There are many parents who are unfamiliar with specific Michigan car seat guidelines on a state level, and instead simply follow parenting books or other non-regulated laws. Understanding the actual laws regarding car seats will not only enforce specific safety measures, but it will also help a parent avoid fines and tickets. To find out more about MI booster seat age regulations, continue reading below.
What are the car seat laws in Michigan?
Car seat safety in Michigan is very specific when it comes to the age and height requirements for children to be in a booster seat. Michigan’s child safety passenger laws, state:
- Children ages four and younger must ride in a car seat in the rear of the car – if all rear seats are occupied by children younger than the age of four, then a child may ride in a car seat in the front seat. However, a child in a rear-facing seat can only sit in the front seat if the vehicle’s airbag is disabled.
- Children must be properly buckled in a booster seat or car seat up until the age of eight years old, or if the child is at least 4 feet 9 inches tall – children must be in a car seat until they either meet the age limit or height limit, whichever happens first.
Penalties for Violating Car Seat Regulations in Michigan
If car seat safety guidelines in Michigan are not met, then the driver of the vehicle can be held legally responsible and may receive a citation. If a child does not meet the minimum booster seat age or height requirements, or if the proper child restraints are not in place, then the operator of the vehicle can be fined. A Michigan police officer can stop any vehicle he or she wishes to and implement tickets for all child car seat violations.
Types of Car Seats
Child car seat laws in Michigan state that a seat should be chosen based on the child’s age, weight, and height. There are different car seat options on the market today that cater to these many factors. For instance, an infant car seat will have different age restrictions when compared to a toddler car seat. The various child seat options available include:
- Booster seats – Intended to fit children ages four to seven years old, or at most 4 feet 9 inches in height.
- Rear facing car seats – Intended for children from birth to one year old or up to 20 pounds in weight.
- Forward facing toddler seats – Intended for children ages one to three years old, or between 20 to 40 pounds.
- Convertible car seats – has two modes: rear-facing mode for babies and forward-facing mode for toddlers.
- Safety belts – any child eight years of age or older, or over 4 feet 9 inches tall must wear a seat belt as a passenger.
Many manufacturers claim to have the best car seats on the market. However, most motor vehicle operators prefer to have the safest car seats. Before making a decision, take a look at a few of the most highly rated car seats:
- Doona Infant Car Seat/Stroller
- Maxi Cosi Mico AP
- Britax Boulevard Clicktight XE Series Convertible Car Seat
- Safety 1st Guide 65 Sport Convertible Car Seat
- Diono Rainier Convertible Car plus Booster
Car Seat Installation Information
Michigan car seat regulations are implemented in order for parents and guardians to ensure a child’s safety is a priority during every car trip. Installation for car seats is integral in order to get the most out of the safety precautions. A few of the basic booster seat and car seat installation tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, include:
- Choosing the right car seat is key. Make sure to choose a seat that is based on your child’s size and age.
- Find a seat that fits in your car, and do not force it. If it does not fit, find another.
- Use a car seat every time you drive with your child—no exceptions.
- Before installation, refer to both the car seat manufacturer’s instructions as well as the vehicle manufacturer’s instructions.
- Use the seat belt system and/or latch system to properly install the seat.
- Always check weight and height limits for each car seat.
- Keep the child in the seat for as long as possible, until he or she reaches the age, height, or weight requirements.
- A child should always be kept in the back seat, with or without a car seat, until the age of 12.
After installing a car seat in a vehicle, adults can find a NHTSA car seat fitting location for a technician to inspect the safety of the seat.