How to Protect Your Kid in a Car: Alabama Car Seat Laws Overview

Did you know that every fifteen seconds, someone is injured in a car crash in Alabama, and every thirteen minutes someone dies of the same cause? In fact, car accidents are the chief cause of death in Alabama for people aged from one to thirty-four.

Precautionary measures are, therefore, crucial for the prevention of severe injuries and death in car crashes.

So, what is the best practice to protect your loved ones?

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, booster seats and appropriate car seats lower the risk of the fatal outcome by 71% for infants and more than 50% for toddlers.

Therefore, it is crucial to know the official Alabama car seat laws to protect your kids appropriately. In the following text, read our comprehensive guide to get familiar with official regulations!

Alabama Child Restraints Law

alabama car seat laws

As Alabama Law Enforcement Agency claims, everyone driving a child in a motor vehicle on the streets, roads, or highways of the Alabama state is obligated to protect the child by using the recommended form of the appropriate restraint system that meets the federal standards and requirements.

Furthermore, the term "motor vehicle" refers to the passenger car, minivan, pickup truck, van (up to ten seats), and sports car.

Standards and Requirements

Standards and requirements for car seats and restraint systems refer to the age and weight of the child. Therefore, there are different types of restraint systems for each stage in the child’s growth.

Rear-Facing Child Car Seat Law of Alabama

Infant-only seats and convertible seats used in rear-facing positions must be used for infants up to one year old, or twenty pounds of weight.

If your child is older than one year but less than twenty pounds of weight, you still need to use a rear-facing seat.

Forward-Facing Child Car Seat Law of Alabama

Convertible seats used in a forward-facing position and standard-forward facing seats must be used for children up to five years old, and forty pounds of weight.

If your child is older than five years but weighs less than forty pounds, that child still has to use a forward-facing car seat.

Booster-Seat Law of Alabama

According to the official laws in Alabama, your child needs to ride in a booster seat until the age of six.

Seat Belt Law of Alabama

alabama car seat laws front seat

All children younger than fifteen years need to be secured with a seat belt. Furthermore, every person sitting in a front seat must be fastened with a seat belt at all times.

What Are the Repercussions for the Violation of Alabama Car Seat Laws?

Every violation of the official Alabama car seat laws is charged twenty-five dollars for each offense. The state uses fifteen dollars of the fee to distribute vouchers for size-appropriate car seats that go to families of limited income.

Furthermore, with the first offense Department of Public Safety shall assess 1 point from the driver and with every subsequent offense 2 points. 

Do Alabama Car Seat Laws Apply to Taxis and Buses?

In the State of Alabama, car seat laws do not apply to taxis and motor vehicles with more than eleven seats.

Can You Leave a Child Unattended in a Car Seat?

Alabama Car Seat Laws forbid leaving a child unattended in a car if the situation puts the child in any kind of risk. The temperature in the vehicle must be under 99 degrees Fahrenheit to be considered safe.

Additional Information

Since the car crash rate is so high in the State of Alabama, and appropriate car seats have proven to be honestly effective in preventing injuries, The Alabama Department of Public Health has organized child passenger safety technicians. They can check if your car seats are correctly installed and provide some additional information on child passenger safety. Here, you can find their contacts.

If you’re not 100% positive on how to install a car seat correctly, here are some useful videos that may help you:

1. Installing a Rear-facing Car Seat

2. Installing a Forward-facing Car Seat

3. Installing a Booster Seat

Final Thoughts

In a state where car crashes are the leading cause of death, traffic regulation is of the highest importance.

Keeping the passenger secure is the most effective method of prevention, so it is critical to know how to secure your child correctly.

Make sure you are familiar with Alabama car seat laws and always follow the regulations to keep your child safe.