Child Car Seat Laws And Rules In West Virginia

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Traffic accidents are a common occurrence in today’s day and age, and the facilities that come with them are just likely to occur, but this chance is significantly increased for children as they cannot use seat belts until they reach a certain age.

To ensure your child is as safe as possible when traveling in a car, you must follow the car seat laws in West Virginia, which have children under the age of 8 restrained in a car seat. Unfortunately, no particular age, height, or weight limit is provided for a child to be in a specific seat, which is sad.

Since the official rules are so vague and un-informing, I will list the rules that various experts say you should follow while traveling with a child in the state of West Virginia.

West Virginia Car Seat Requirements By Ages

The state of West Virginia has set that children below eight years of age must travel in a car seat. However, they failed to mention which car seat is best suited to a child at a particular age which is why I will explain the best seats to use for a particular age.

1 Year Old

A typical one-year-old child should be placed inside a rear-facing car seat while they are below 20 pounds. Once they cross 20 pounds, they should be moved up to a car seat which should be forward facing, but only when they reach 2.

2 Year Old

Once your child becomes two years old, most states allow them to use a front-facing car seat, but if your child is below 20 pounds, they should continue to use a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible.

3 Year Old

Three-year-olds should not have any trouble being over 20 pounds, so you can easily place them inside a front-facing car seat, but essentially, you should keep them in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible as it is safer.

4 Year Old

Four-year-olds are better off in a front-facing car seat, and depending on their height and weight concerning the limits of this car seat, they should be moved up to a booster seat once these limits are met.

5 Year Old

I recommend that five-year-old children also follow the rule set for four-year-olds in that they should switch to a booster seat if they have outgrown the car seat which is forward facing, but if this is not the case, they should continue using it until they do.

6 Year Old

While your six-year-old may be approaching the point where they can stop using booster seats entirely, children below eight must be restrained, so you need to keep your child in the booster seat or the forward-facing car seat.

7 – 9 Year Old

Seven-year-olds will still have to use a booster seat as required by law, but once they reach the age of 8, they can stop using booster seats entirely if they are above the height of 4 feet and 9 inches. At that point, they can start using the car’s seat belts.

10 Year Old

Your ten-year-old child is not legally required to use a booster seat unless 4.9” in height. However, they will be required to use the car’s seat belts for the foreseeable future.

Car Seat Weight And Height Requirements In West Virginia

The state of West Virginia has taken the liberty of not talking about specific heights and weights your children need to be to use a specific car seat or follow certain rules and instead leave it at the parent’s discretion to use the appropriate device for the child.

Generally speaking, the child should be kept in a rear-facing car seat if they are below 20 pounds, and once they completely outgrow the seat, move up to a forward-facing car seat.

They should follow the same trend and move to a booster seat once the forward-face car seat limits are met.

The children are then required to use a booster seat till they are 4.9” in height, at which point they can stop using car seats entirely if they are eight years old and above.

Type Of Car Seat Laws In West Virginia

Just like the state of West Virginia does not emphasize the child’s age, height, and weight, it does not talk a lot about the specific rules regarding each car seat, but here are the general rules you should follow for each specific car seat.

1. Rear Facing Car Seat

You are recommended to use this seat for as long as possible and ensure that the child inside is completely secure. You must also check that the seat is mounted as safely as possible.

2. Forward Facing Car Seat

For this one, you need to have a harness system included. A 5-point harness system is recommended in most cases.

Apart from this, you simply need to ensure that your child stays comfortable in the seat and that the straps and restraints are updated throughout the years.

3. Booster Seat

Until your child is eight years old, you need to keep them in a car seat, and the booster seat is no different.

It must raise the children so that they can efficiently use the car’s shoulder and lap adult seat belts but can stop using them once they reach 4 feet and 9 inches in height.

When Is The Time For My Child To Sit In The Front Seat In West Virginia?

Like most of the laws I have discussed, there is no mention of the age where your child should be sitting in the front seat of the car, but there are various recommendations from experts on this topic.

Typically, your child should start sitting in the front seat of the car when they are trained in using the seat belts, which means that they should be at least eight years old, but the recommended age is 13.

What Happens If You Leave Your Child In A Car In West Virginia?

Currently, no laws prohibit leaving your child in a car in West Virginia, which means that it should be completely legal. However, this does not mean that you should become irresponsible and start leaving your child alone in a car.

You should try to have someone supervise them at all times when in a car and take special precautions that they stay safe while they are inside the car in case the weather conditions are too severe. The car should be in a neutral state as well.

Taxi Car Seat Laws In West Virginia

Seeing the track record of the state of West Virginia, it should come as no surprise that the state’s car seat laws do not mention whether you are required to use a car seat while traveling in a taxi.

It is better to be safe in this case and use a car seat while traveling in a taxi. This not only avoids any issues but keeps your child safe.

West Virginia Law Regarding Car Seats In Accidents

There is no law about replacing your car seats in the state of West Virginia. Generally, you should replace your car seat after every major accident.

The exception to this rule is if the car seat has only taken slight damage, in which case you are free to keep using it for as long as you want.

Uber Car Seat Laws In West Virginia

Similar to taxis, the law does not specify whether you are required to use a booster seat or not. As above, it is recommended to use a booster seat to avoid any potential issues.

You should purchase a booster seat that is easy to set up and lightweight so that you can do so more easily in an Uber.

Conclusion

West Virginia car seat laws are so vague and do not mention a lot of issues and situations that a lot of other states do, which makes these rules pale in comparison and can cause a lot of issues to newer parents who do not know how to properly take care of their child inside a car or can lead to parents making decisions which may harm their child in the long run.

This should not be the case with you as you have finished reading the article and should know exactly how to take care of your child when they are a specific age, height, and weight.