What are the car seat laws in West Virginia?
West Virginia child safety seat laws are a primary offense with fines starting at $20 per incident. State law mandates children under 8 must be properly secured.
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UPDATED: Oct 20, 2021
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- West Virginia drivers could be cited for not complying with all aspects of the child safety seat law
- Drivers should also be aware of the additional child car seat safety recommendations offered by the American Academy of Pediatrics
- The NHTSA offers free car seat installation checks to ensure that your car seat is properly secured in your vehicle
- West Virginia’s car insurance companies take these matters very seriously. (Learn more about Cheap Auto Insurance in West Virginia here.)
- West Virginia drivers may benefit from purchasing more than the state’s minimum required amount of car insurance
Fastening a young child into a car seat is one of the best steps that you may take to keep a child safer in the event of an accident. However, you may be confused about how to properly use a car seat and when to stop using one.
West Virginia has issued specific legal guidelines for car seat usage that drivers should be aware of and follow at all times.
As a West Virginia driver, it is your responsibility to understand what the state’s legal child car seat law is and to ensure that you actively comply with this law.
More than that, you should be aware that the American Academy of Pediatrics, or AAP, has created its own guidelines for the safe usage of car seats.
In some instances, the AAP’s guidelines are more significant than state legal requirements, and parents may choose to follow these guidelines after state requirements have been met.
AAP indicates that children should remain in a rear-facing car seat in the back seat of the car until the age of two.
The children may then turn around into a front-facing car seat or booster seat until they reach the age of between eight and 12 and until they are at least 57 inches tall. After this point, children can begin using the adult seat belts in the vehicle.
Make sure you have the right insurance in place for your family. Compare car insurance quotes right here by entering your ZIP code above.
Car Seat Laws for West Virginia
The AAP guidelines are recommendations that drivers should consider following to keep children in their vehicle as safe as possible, but this is not the legal requirement for the use of car seats in West Virginia.
All drivers who plan to drive with a child in their vehicle in West Virginia should be aware that the state requires children who are under the age of eight years old and who are under 57 inches tall to be secured in a car seat.
Note that the West Virginia law does not dictate when you should turn the car seat around or when the car seat may be safely used in the front seat.
With this in mind, parents may consider applying the AAP recommendations to their own car seat usage to keep children as safe as possible while in a moving vehicle.
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Consequences for Breaking the Law
The car seat law is a primary law in West Virginia. With a primary law, a police officer does not need any other reason to pull you over, so you may not be doing anything else wrong when you are cited for this type of safety violation on the road.
If he or she notices that a child may not be properly secured by a car seat per legal requirements, you may be pulled over and cited.
A violation of West Virginia’s car seat law will not result in points being added to your driving record, so you may not have to worry about your car insurance rates increasing as a result of this issue.
However, you may be fined up to $20 per incident for a car seat law violation and up to $25 for a general seat belt law violation.
Remember that each child who is not properly fastened into a car seat is considered a separate incident or violation, and this means that you could receive two, three, or more fines at the same time if you have multiple children in the car who are not in car seats as required.
Provide for Child Safety and Care
Child safety seats are most protective of children in moving vehicles when they are properly installed and securely attached to the vehicle as the manufacturer intended.
It can be challenging for some people to install their car seat properly.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers free car seat installation inspections at select locations throughout all states.
Refer to the NHTSA’s website today to find an inspection station in your area.
Buy the Right Coverage
In addition to ensuring that your child car seat is properly installed in your vehicle before driving down the road, you should take the additional step to ensure that your car insurance coverage is as protective as possible.
The state’s legal requirement for car insurance only relates to liability insurance. This coverage pays for other people’s expenses if you cause damage while driving your car, but it may not pay for your own vehicle repairs or for medical expenses for anyone who is injured in your car.
You can easily request a quote for updated coverage that meets your current needs. Request at least three to four different quotes from reputable, established car insurance companies.
Review the insurance providers’ information regarding the following:
- Financial strength
- Claims process
- Customer satisfaction
Remember to repeat this process every six months so that you always have updated coverage at the best price available. Use our FREE rate comparison tool to find and compare rates today!