Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death in the pediatric population. (In fact, the CDC lists “unintentional injury,” which includes car crashes, as the leading cause of death in the U.S. between 1-44 years of age.) In 2013, 638 children under 13 years old died in accidents and more than 127,250 were injured. 38% of those who died were not buckled up.

Earlier this summer, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed a new bipartisan seat belt law that just went into effect last Friday, August 12, 2016, and should help diminish fatalities in children. The law requires all children under the age of two to be buckled in a rear-facing car seat until they outgrow the maximum height and weight limits stated by the car seat’s manufacturer.

Pennsylvania became only the fourth state in the nation to adopt this preventative regulation. This law should simplify things for parents who assume liability for non-compliance, which will be a $125 fine for each violation of the new law:

  • 0-2 years old — Rear-facing car seat.
  • 2-4 years old — Forward-facing car seat.
  • 4-8 years old — Booster seat using properly fitting seat belt.
  • 8-12 years old — Seat belt (properly fitting) in rear seat.
  • 13+ years old — Seat belt in front or rear seat.


Want to learn the proper use and pitfalls of car seats? The PediaBlog has that covered here.


(Google Images)