Tennessee law does require that vehicle operators and passengers take specific safety measures before going out on the roads and highways. There are a number of vehicle safety regulations specific to young children:
- If the child is less than one year old or weighs under 20 pounds, he or she must be secured in a child restraint system that is safety-approved and that faces the rear.
- If the child is between one and three and weighs more than 20 pounds, he or she must be secured in a child passenger restraint system. The system can face towards the front or towards the rear.
- If the child is between four and eight years of age and is shorter than 4 feet, 9 inches, a safety-approved booster seat system that uses belt-positioning must be used.
Children who do not fall into any of these three categories must use a seat belt in the same manner that adults do – except that the seat should correspond to the child’s age, weight, and height. These are minimum requirements. Parents and drivers should err on the side of being more secure. Safety precautions can help minimize the severity of car accidents.
Seat belt use for adults and larger children
All adults and all children who exceed the child safety rule limits must use a properly secured seat belt if they are riding in the front of the car. If the vehicle comes with a shoulder and a lap belt, then both belts should be used.
The driver is responsible for making sure he or she is properly secured and that all passengers are secured according to the state law requirements. Drivers who fail to follow these laws can get a ticket, be fined, and have points assessed on their license. Passengers 16 years and older can also be ticketed for failing to secure their own safety belt in compliance with Tennessee laws.
If any child or adult is improperly secured, that infraction alone is justification for a police officer to stop the car.
At the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm, our Gladiators in Suits fight for victims of car crashes. Car seats and seat belts can save lives. Whether they are used or not, our Nashville car accident lawyers bring claims against accountable parties for pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, disfigurement, scarring, and other damages. To speak with an experienced lawyer today, please call us at 615-246-5549 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment in Nashville, Hendersonville, or Knoxville.