California Seat Belt Laws

February 4th, 2019 by

California Seat Belt Laws

In the event of a collision, one factor makes a bigger difference than any other. If all passengers are properly secured with a seat belt, a car seat, or a booster seat, the likelihood of serious injury is much, much lower than it would otherwise be. Of course, wearing a seat belt isn’t just a good idea, it’s the law! Toyota of Downtown LA has broken down everything you’ll need to know to drive safely, and legally, near Cerritos or West Hollywood.

What is the Seat Belt Law in California?

Most drivers and passengers realize that all front-seated passengers are legally required to wear a seatbelt. However, many ask, “Do you have to wear a seatbelt in the back seat in California?” Although this hasn’t always been the case, California law now clearly states that all passengers must be secured by a safety belt, and that includes passengers seated in the rear rows.

Those who are smaller, or who are under the age of 16, are subject to additional restrictions and must be protected by a child passenger restraint system. Most accidents happen within a mile from the home, so you should always wear your seatbelt, even if you’re only going a short distance. The law is the same no matter how far you have to travel!

California Child Seat Belt Law

The seat belts in your vehicle have been designed with a male, 165-pound body in mind. If you have children in your family, it’s important to recognize this fact and secure them properly with a rear-facing car seat or a booster seat. Here’s what you should know if you’re traveling with passengers of young ages:

  • Children under two years of age are required to ride in a rear-facing car seat with a five-point harness, in the rear row. Children who weigh more than forty pounds, or who have a height of more than forty inches, are permitted to “graduate” to the next level of safe seating.
  • Children under eight years of age must be secured by a car seat or a booster seat, and they must sit in the rear of the vehicle. A child older than eight years, or who has reached a height of at least 4’9”, is not subject to this restriction.
  • In general, it’s a good idea to keep your children in the most secure child safety seats for as long as possible. Don’t rush to move children to the next level until you’re 100% sure that they’re ready.
  • Any child who “graduates” from the booster seat, or who reaches the age of sixteen, is subject to the same California Mandatory Seat Belt Law described in the section above. At this point, a minor is subject to the same restrictions and recommendations that apply to adults.

Get More Safety Tips with Toyota of Downtown LA!

We want you to have the best possible experience when you’re on the roads of Los Angeles! Learn more by exploring some of our favorite tips and tricks for navgating our city, or by checking out some of our parallel parking tips. If you have any questions about vehicle safety, don’t hesitate to contact our highly knowledgable team.


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