Understanding Wisconsin's traffic laws are the first step in ensuring our youngest ones are safe while traveling.
The Wisconsin authorities keep the law strict regarding child safety, so don't expect them to look past some violations.
This scenario will never catch your eye; the legislators are working non-stop on making sure the parents follow the laws as closely as possible.
A few years back, car crashes were the leading cause of death on Wisconsin roadways.
The victims were from the age of 1 to 45, meaning no one is safe when the despicable occurs. This is why it is relevant to get as many people as possible aware of improper restraint risk.
In this detailed article, we will discuss Wisconsin car seat laws.
Followed by safety regulations, we have also added a few tips for newbie parents regarding car seats.
Why Do You Need a Car Seat?
You may think of yourself as a safe driver, but you can come across reckless drivers just waiting to put you or your child at risk wherever you go.
When a car seat is used correctly, it can reduce severe injuries by a significant percent.
However, they do not eliminate the risk.
By the data report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, using a car seat can reduce the change of injuries by 82%, while the booster seat reduces the injuries by 45%.
So, next time you wonder if you need a car seat for your child, have these numbers in mind.
Car Seat Law
The laws in Wisconsin are quite clear at this point.
All children need to be correctly secured into an adequate restraint system or a safety belt.
Children need to use a safety seat until the age of four and a booster seat from four to eight.
Anyone who violates the law of not using a restraint system will be charged $175.
The fine for not restraining children between the ages of four to eight results in $150 for the first offense, the second offense is $200, while the third is $263.
1. Rear-Faced Seats
In Wisconsin, the law declares that children under the age of two need to be restrained in rear-faced seats.
These seats are installed in the back seat of the car, never in the front.
If your vehicle does not have a back seat, you should consult with some of the institutions we linked below to see whether you can install it in the front seat.
Usually, some states allow rear-faced seats to be installed in the front seat with a disabled airbag.
The American Academy of Pediatrics advises rear-faced seats to be used for long as the child fits in them.
Parents should move the children to the forward-seats when they outgrow the car seat manufacturer's criteria.
2. Forward-Faced Seats
The Wisconsin law states that children need to be secured in forward-faced seats until they turn four years old and weigh 40 pounds.
Again, we refer to the American Academy of Pediatrics, which recommends that children need to be secured in a forward-facing seat with a five-point harness until they outgrow it.
The harnessed system helps keep the children secured even during extreme crashes.
3. Booster Seats
As we stated earlier, booster seats are required from the age of four to eight. Children also need to weigh at least 80 pounds and reach the 4'9" height.
Depending on the car you have, you can go for one of these types and provide your child with safe transport.
4. Front Seat Rides In Wisconsin
The Wisconsin law does not declare the exact age-appropriate for front seat rides.
However, it is recommended by the Wisconsin government for children to ride in the backseat until they are at least 13 years old.
Can You Leave Children Alone in the Car?
There is no law in Wisconsin regarding this topic.
However, the AAP advises that you should never leave the child unattended in the car unless accompanied by a 12-year-old.
Smoking in Vehicles
Smoking in cars is still not declared as illegal in Wisconsin.
But, you know of the risks you are putting your child in when you light a cigarette.
Secondhand smoke exposure has proven to cause damage to the undeveloped immune systems of children.
Numerous illnesses are linked to smoke exposure, such as ear and lung infections, SIDS, meningitis, and asthma.
The Wisconsin law does not require available vehicles such as trains, taxis, or buses to follow the car seat law.
However, you are advised to bring your car seat or a booster and protect the child at all times.
Education on Car Seat Safety
We have all been there.
Trying to install the newly bought car seat and end up getting frustrated.
It will be for the best if you know with Wisconsin's Department of Transportation that provides resources on child safety in transportation.
The resources in question are training, regulations, and education on car seat safety.
For installation questions, you can check the information on car seat safety, reliable videos, or visit https://chw.org.
Also, checking the car seat manufacturers' recommendations is one of the most helpful resources you can find.
It is often advised you check the instructions regarding weight, height, and age when you plan to switch up the seats.
Seat Belt Law
Once the child is old enough for front seat rides, they now have to use seat belts as only safety systems.
Children are prepared for a seat belt when they reach 57 inches in height. Otherwise, the belt will not provide adequate protection.
Exceptions For Laws
Wisconsin law exempts the law from being applied to children who cannot be secured in a restraint system due to medical reasons.
In this case, you need to provide a valid doctor's letter explaining the condition.
Where Can You Get Car Seat Help?
We linked a few resources helpful in advising you in car seat safety and installation.
Wisconsin car seat laws may seem strict to some, but rest sure that they exist for the best purpose; to keep your child safe through rides.
You see the numbers of the injured ones; the news is filled with them.
We need to work together in keeping the roadways of Wisconsin safe and our children properly restrained.
So, we hope you learned something valuable from this article, and you will keep on following the car seat laws.
We wish you a pleasant visit to Wisconsin!