A four-year-old boy and his mother both died in a car accident in Moore County. The incident occurred on Wednesday, September 20th on NC-690 in Vass, about 60 miles outside of Raleigh. The boy was pronounced at the scene and his mother passed away later at the hospital. North Carolina State troopers said the child was improperly restrained in a car seat that was improperly installed.
What are the child car seat laws in North Carolina?
According to official reports, the child’s mother veered across the centerline and collided with another vehicle.
Two people from the struck vehicle were also injured during the accident. The passenger sustained somewhat minor injuries, while the driver was transported to a local medical facility in serious condition.
Troopers have indicated that speed likely contributed to the accident, which remains under investigation at this time.
If you were injured or lost a loved one in a car accident and are considering pursuing a personal injury or wrongful death claim, a North Carolina personal injury attorney from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp can evaluate the facts of your accident and answer any questions you may have. Call us today to schedule your free case review.
North Carolina Car Seat Laws
Pursuant to car seat laws in North Carolina, any child passenger younger than 8 years old and not weighing more than 80 pounds must be secured in an appropriate child seat. Additional laws include:
Rear-Facing Car Seat Law
In the absence of a specific law pertaining to rear-facing car seats, parents should adhere to the guidelines laid out by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The guidelines state that infants should only be placed in rear-facing car seats.
North Carolina also does not specify the ages for which a rear-facing car seat would be required, but the recommendation put forth by the AAP is two years old or younger.
Forward-Facing Car Seat Law
Again, no set law exists specifying what type of child car seat must be used at certain weights or ages, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration advises that children only ride in forward-facing seats after they have outgrown the weight and height limits of rear-facing seats.
North Carolina car seat laws state that children 7 and under who weigh less than 80 pounds are required to ride in a car seat that satisfies all federal safety regulations. For children between 2 and 4 years of age, this would be a forward-facing car seat with a tether and harness.
Booster Seat Law
In North Carolina, any child who is 7 years old or younger and weighs under 80 pounds has to be fastened in a booster seat. Once again, no specific age is given. Children who have surpassed the weight and height restrictions of a forward-facing seat may ride in a booster seat.
A backless or high-back booster seat has to be secured in place with a seat belt that goes across the child’s shoulder and lap. If the vehicle does not have this type of restraint, any child weighing 40 to 80 pounds may be restrained with a lap belt only.
North Carolina laws regarding booster seats do not apply to emergency vehicles, such as ambulances, or any other vehicle that is not required to have a seat belt according to federal law.
Talk to a North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a member of your family were injured in a North Carolina car accident, schedule a free case review with the North Carolina car accident attorneys at the personal injury law firm Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp by calling (833) 997-1774 or completing the form on our website.