Colorado Car Seat Laws
Whether you’re a Colorado resident or visiting our state, it’s important to know Colorado’s car seat laws. Car seat laws are different in every state. Colorado has a unique set of car seat laws that apply to all children in the state. Here’s what you need to know about Colorado car seat laws from our Denver car accident lawyers.
Colorado Car Seat Laws
- Infants – Must be in a rear-facing car seat in the back seat; infants are any child under one-year-old or under 20 pounds.
- Ages 1-4 – Must be in a rear or forward-facing car seat. The car seat must be federally approved. You must use the car seat until the child reaches the weight and height limit of the seat, as stated by the vehicle manufacturer.
- Ages 4-8 – Booster seats with lap and shoulder belts are required. You may use just a booster seat along with a seat belt that’s installed in the vehicle.
- Ages 8-16 – Seatbelts are required at all times.
Colorado Revised Statutes 42-4-236: Colorado Laws for Child Car Seats
Colorado law 42-4-236 is the child car seat law. The law states that every child must wear a safety belt while in a moving vehicle until they are 16 years old. If a child is 8 or younger, they must use a child restraint system. In addition, if the child is under age four and between 20-40 pounds, they must be in a rear or forward-facing child car seat. Infants must be in a rear-facing car seat.
The law defines “child restraint system” as a system designed to protect, hold, and restrain a child to prevent or minimize injury. Your car seat must meet federal safety standards. It’s up to you to make sure that your car seat or booster seat is federally approved. These rules are designed to prevent children from sustaining common car accident injuries in the event of a collision.
Is the Parent or the Driver Liable If a Child Isn’t in a Car Seat?
In Colorado, the parent is liable first if a child isn’t in a car seat. If the parent is riding in the vehicle, and the police report states that the child isn’t in an approved car seat, it’s the parent that’s getting the ticket. However, if the parent isn’t in the vehicle, it’s the responsibility of the driver to ensure that each child in the car is in the appropriate seats. Any responsible party can get a citation if the child doesn’t have the right seat.
Recommended Reading: Auto Accident FAQs
Are There Exceptions to Colorado Car Seat Laws?
Yes, there are exceptions to Colorado car seat laws. You don’t have to use a car seat if you’re transporting a child for a medical emergency. In addition, some commercial vehicles, like a school bus, are exempt from Colorado car seat laws.
When Can a Child Legally Sit in the Front Seat in Colorado?
A child can legally sit in the front seat in Colorado if they are at least one-year-old and weigh at least 20 pounds. If they are less than one-years-old or under 20 pounds, they must ride in the back seat. Even if a child can legally sit in the front seat in Colorado, it’s not recommended until a child is 13 years old.
Can My Child Sit in the Front Seat of a Car in Colorado?
Your child can sit in the front seat of a car in Colorado once they are one-year-old and at least 20 pounds. However, the Center for Disease Control recommends that children sit in the backseat until they’re 13 years old. If your child sits in the front seat, they must still comply with Colorado’s car seat laws that apply up to age eight.
What Are the Penalties for a Car Seat Violation in Colorado?
The penalties for a car seat violation in Colorado are a fine and court costs. Failing to restrain a child lawfully in a car seat is a Class B traffic infraction in Colorado. There’s no possibility of jail time, but you may have to pay a fine of up to $100 plus a small surcharge to cover court costs. The court does not assess points against your license. The court may waive the fine if you have proof of purchase or rent of an appropriate car seat by your court appearance.
Is a Violation of Colorado’s Car Seat Laws Negligence per se?
No, a violation of Colorado’s car seat laws is not negligence per se. If you’re in an accident and your child isn’t restrained lawfully, your failure to use the right car seat is not automatically negligence. Instead, the other side must convince the jury that your actions are not reasonable. They must show how a reasonable person would have acted differently; a presumption of negligence is not automatic.
Colorado Car Accident Cases Involving Car Seats
If you’re in a car accident, the use or misuse of a car seat may be an issue in the case. Even if you fail to restrain your child properly in a car seat, you may still bring a legal claim on behalf of your child as long as you meet the statute of limitations in Colorado. Don’t assume that you can’t bring a case if you made a mistake with the car seat. Your attorney can help you understand how the car seat may factor into your car accident case.
Colorado Car Accident Attorneys for Defective Car Seats
If a car seat malfunctions during an accident, you may have a claim for compensation against the car seat manufacturer. The car seat manufacturer may be liable if they make a manufacturing error, fail to provide you adequate instructions for car seat use or make a car seat with a poor design. Your Colorado car accident attorneys can help you explore if this kind of claim is an option in your case.
Colorado Attorneys for Car Accidents Involving Car Seats
Was your child involved in a car accident? Do you have questions about how issues surrounding a car seat might impact your car accident case? Our legal team can help. We believe that all car accident victims deserve skilled, passionate, and aggressive legal representation, including children. Let our team build your case and fight for fair compensation for you and your child.
We can help you understand the approximate value of your claim and what role the car seat might play in the case. Then, we work with you to fight for fair compensation. Your phone call is free. Call us today.
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