Did you know automobile accidents are the leading cause of death in kids younger than 13? Accidents can happen in an instant. And, while Washington already has strong laws and a good safety record, we can always do more to protect our kids.
The Safest Ride is in the Back Seat
The safest ride is in the back seat, properly restrained, every time. Everyone is safer in the back seat—especially kids. When an accident happens, kids younger than 13 riding in the front seat are 50 percent more likely to be seriously injured or killed than kids riding in the back seat.
It’s What’s on the Inside that Counts
It’s not about a child’s size and weight. It’s about bone strength and body structure. Until age 13, kids’ bodies aren’t strong enough to withstand crash forces in the front seat.
It’s the Law!
Washington State law requires children younger than 13 to ride in the back seat whenever practical. Boosters are required until your child is 8 years old, unless she’s 4’ 9” or taller. The motor vehicle safety belt must fit the child properly before you stop using a car or booster seat.
For the seat belt to fit properly, your child must:
- Safely wear the seat belt (lap belt low and snug across the upper thighs, shoulder belt across mid-chest and shoulder)
- Be tall enough to sit without slouching
- Be able to keep her back against the vehicle seat
- Be able to keep her knees naturally bent over the vehicle seat
- Be able to keep her feet on the floor
For more information on child passenger safety, visit Safe Kids Washington.