If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you know how difficult it can be to recover from injuries while trying to get back to your daily routine. Accidents can leave you facing a long recovery, with seemingly few resources to help you get back on your feet. Complications arising from an accident can be compounded if you have children, and car accidents with child passengers can lead to tragedy. If you’ve been involved in an accident, calling a car accident lawyer in Bradenton, Florida, can help ensure you have someone on your side to help while you and your family navigate through the process. Here are some reminders to help ensure that you and your family are as safe as possible in the event of an accident.
Introduction to Florida Safety Laws
Auto accident lawyers in Bradenton, Florida, know that Florida’s child safety laws can be confusing. While most people know that young children are required to be in a child seat for several years after they’re born, there are several important nuances to Florida law in this area. Florida safety laws are governed by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, and the state has statutes in place designed to keep both drivers and pedestrians safe. Florida’s laws include both seat belt laws and child car seat laws.
Seat Belt Laws and Safety
If you have older children or frequently have passengers in your vehicle, you should be aware of Florida’s seat belt laws. Personal Injury attorneys in the Bradenton area know that ignorance of these laws isn’t an excuse if you get pulled over, and that not wearing a seat belt is one of the biggest aggravating factors when drivers are involved in accidents that result in severe injury.
In Florida, you’re required to wear a safety belt if you’re driving a vehicle or if you’re under the age of 18, regardless of where you’re sitting. If you have passengers in your car that are over 18, they’re not technically required to wear a seat belt in the backseat of your vehicle. Any competent Bradenton automobile accident attorney will know that it’s always advisable to wear a seat belt, regardless of age or where you’re sitting in the car. If you have children of any age, you should always ensure that their seat belt is properly fastened. You should also keep children under the age of 12 out of the front seat to avoid injury from an airbag.
Child Seat Safety
Most car accident attorneys in Bradenton will agree that nothing is more tragic than serious injury or death to a young child who is involved in an accident. Research shows that keeping children in car seats far beyond their first few years is one of the best things parents can do to protect young children while driving. In Florida, the law requires that any child under 5 years old be seated in a federally approved child restraint system, and children under 3 must be in a car seat. The best child seat is one that properly fits your child and one that is easy to use every time. Most car accident attorneys recommend keeping your infant and child in a rear-facing seat until they are at least 2 years old and a forward facing seat until they are 5 or weigh somewhere between 40 and 65 pounds. For specifics, it’s always a good idea to check with the manufacturer’s guidelines that came with your child seat.