Booster Seat Requirements in New Jersey

Dawn Pinnisi

March 11, 2024

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), booster seats reduce the risk of severe injury by 45% for children aged 4-8 compared to the exclusive use of seat belts. While booster seats are a relatively new development over the past decades, they have improved child safety on the roads substantially.

Despite a booster seat’s role in improving child safety, manufacturer defects can expose children to the risk of severe injuries. Independent testing and investigations have also found that booster seats can lead to severe injuries in side-impact crashes.

You may be entitled to compensation if your child has sustained an injury in a car accident due to someone else’s fault. Consider speaking to a trusted New Jersey car accident attorney to discover if you’re entitled to compensation.

Booster Seat Law In New Jersey

Safety recommendations demonstrate the safest way to transport a child, per the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration guidelines. Parents can also comply with the New Jersey Child Passenger Restraint Law by applying the rules below.

Here are the applicable guidelines:

  • Any child younger than 8 years old and with a height less than 57 inches should be secured in the rear seat of a vehicle as follows:
  • A child under 2 years and weighing less than 30 lbs should be in a rear-facing car seat with a five-point harness. It means toddlers younger than two years old with tall and long legs must use rear-facing seats, even with bent knees or legs pressed between the back seat.
  • Children ages 2 to 4: Children younger than 4 years and 40 lbs must use rear-facing or forward-facing seats with a five-point harness at the back seat of a vehicle.
  • Ages 4 to 8: A child aged 8 and older or more than 57 inches tall should be adequately secured using a seat belt.
  • Children riding in the front seats: New Jersey law says the child can ride in the front seat in a car seat or booster seat for vehicles without a back seat, like a pick-up truck or sports car. However, the driver should disable the passenger’s airbag or shut it off. The force of the airbag is likely to injure a small child after deployment.

Common Mistakes Parents Make With a Booster Seat

First, the booster should be properly installed to offer maximum protection to the child. Improper booster seat installation increases the risk of injuries in case of a car accident.

Here are the common mistakes that parents make with booster seats:

  • Installing an Expired Seat: You should use a booster seat for six years since its accumulated wear and tear can impact its effectiveness.
  • Improper Adjustment as the Child Grows: The car seat should be adjusted with the child’s development. Parents can avoid accidents by ensuring the car seat arm fits securely.
  • Failure to Buckle the Child Tightly: While you may be looking after the child’s comfort, failure to secure loose straps may be a hazard. Pay attention to the child’s straps during winter since puffy jackets may allow straps to become loose.
  • Allowing the Child to Ride in the Front Seat: Although a child may be curious to ride in the front seat, airbag deployment can kill a child in case of an auto accident.

What to Do If Your Child Gets Injured?

Step 1: Call 911

Call 911 so that the police and emergency medical technicians can arrive at the scene. Wait to move your child until the first responder arrives to allow a qualified physician to relocate your child after analyzing potential concerns.

Step 2: Gather Information

Exchange necessary information to file an insurance claim, including the other driver’s name and contact information, insurance company and policy number, driver’s license, and plate number.

Take an image of the vehicle damage and record any eye witnesses’ contact information.

Step 3: Contact Your Insurance Company

Irrespective of the at-fault party, you must inform your insurance company about the incident. Your insurer may pay for the losses if the liable party is uninsured or underinsured.

Get in Touch With an Experienced New Jersey Car Accident Attorney to Discover Your Options

If your child has sustained an injury because of a defective booster seat, you deserve compensation for medical expenses, emotional anguish, and loss of companionship.

You, therefore, deserve compensation from an experienced attorney who’ll aggressively represent your interest.

Varcadipane & Pinnisi, P.C. has a team of highly experienced attorneys committed to helping injured victims. Contact us online or at (201) 588-1500 for a free consultation.

Dawn M. Pinnisi

Dawn M. Pinnisi is a distinguished attorney with a track record of excellence in advocating for victims of injury and negligence. Dawn is a Founding Partner of the Firm, a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and has been awarded by the National Trial Lawyers.

University: J.D. Brooklyn Law School

Bar Number: 33771999

Locations: New Jersey and New York.

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by Founding Partners, Jeffrey W. Varcadipane & Dawn M. Pinnisi, with more than 40 years of combined legal experience as personal injury attorneys.

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