Montana car seat laws are intended to protect children of all ages and ensure their safety in the event of a car crash. The reason why booster seat laws are so important, is due to the fact that car crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages one to 13, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Combining car seat safety plus proper installation techniques will make sure a child is as safe as possible in a vehicle.

There are various types of car seats on the market today, each pertaining to a different seat of requirements for the child. For instance, car seat weight requirements will vary from an infant seat up to a booster seat. Understanding the different seats as well as which seat pertains to which age group will be most helpful. To find out more about MT car seat regulations, continue below.

What are the car seat laws in Montana?

Car seat rules vary from state to state and can range from age requirements to height requirements and more. The booster seat law in Montana states that a child under the age of eight, weighing less than 60 pounds must be restrained in a proper child safety seat in a motor vehicle.

The child safety restraint must be appropriate to the child’s height and weight, as per the seat manufacturer. Always make sure to purchase a car seat that is specific to a child’s height, age or weight recommendations.

Penalties for Violating Car Seat Regulations in Montana

Montana car seat laws are intended for the safety of the child during a car crash. When these guidelines for child safety seats are not followed, not only is the child at risk for injury or death, but the driver will also be held responsible.

Failure to comply with the Montana car seat guidelines will result in a penalty up to $100. A police officer has the right to pull over any driver suspected of non-use of a proper child restraint and issue a citation on the spot. Avoid unnecessary fines as well as child endangerment by allowing the Montana child seat protocol.

Types of Car Seats

A child car seat in Montana can be purchased as varying stages in a child’s life. There are currently four options to purchase a car seat, each with its own set of safety measures. For instance, a rear facing seat and forward-facing seat will have different measures in which a child will be thoroughly protected. The four kinds of child car seats and restraints available include:

  • Rear facing car seatincludes infant-only seats and convertible seats. This is the best option for young children as the harness cradles and moves with the child during a crash to protect the spinal cord and fragile neck.
  • Forward facing car seat intended for children ages one to three, providing a harness and tether to restrict forward momentum during a crash.
  • Booster seat – intended for growing children ages four to seven years old. A booster seat raises a child up so that the lap and shoulder belt of the vehicle is properly fitted to the strongest part of the child’s body.
  • Seat belt – any child between eight and 12 years of age, or over 4 feet 9 inches tall must wear a seat belt that fits snugly across the chest and shoulder.

When looking to find the best car seats on the market, it is important to consider all factors. Rather than stick to brand name seats, find the safest car seats available. Some of the most highly ranked seats in terms of safety, include:

  • Chicco Keyfit Infant Car Seat
  • Britax Convertible Car Seat
  • Graco Booster Seat

Car Seat Installation Information

The booster seat regulations in Montana are intended to work in tandem with proper installation techniques. If a convertible car seat is not properly installed, the seat will not be able to ensure the highest quality of safety. A few of the most important car seat installation tips and techniques to learn before the installation, involve:

  • Always read both the vehicle’s manual involving car seat safety and the car seat manufacturer’s manual.
  • Make sure rear-facing seats have a recline of no more than 45 degrees.
  • Never place a rear facing child seat in front of an active airbag.
  • Never install a rear or forward-facing seat in the front of the vehicle.

For drivers who are unsure of how to properly install a car seat, or who want to have a car seat checked by a professional, there are free inspection stations located throughout Montana.

Last updated on Wednesday, September 23 2020.