Oklahoma Car Seat Laws for 2021: Complete Guide
Fact checked by Clayton Hasbrook | Updated on January 3, 2021
What are the Oklahoma car seat laws for 2021? Keep reading to find out.
Car seats are an incredibly important safety feature for children and you need to make sure that you are using one whenever you are driving with your child. Car accidents are a leading cause of death in children, and in 2017, 675 children were involved in fatal accidents and another 116,000 were injured. In 35% of these cases, the children were not buckled up properly, which means that these deaths could have been avoided with the use of a car seat and a seatbelt.
Unfortunately, a lot of people are not sure how long they need to use a car seat for and what the laws around car seats in Oklahoma are.
This guide will tell you everything that you need to know about the Oklahoma car seat laws and how to use a car seat properly, so you can make sure that your child is always safe and you are following the guidelines correctly.
Oklahoma Car Seat Laws by Age
There are specific guidelines about the use of car seats and which children need to use them. The rules vary depending on the age and, in some cases, the height of the child.
All children that are 2 years old or younger must be secured in a rear-facing car seat at all times while you are driving.
Once children are over 2 years of age, they are no longer required by law to be secured in a rear-facing car seat. However, they do still need to be in a forward-facing car seat at all times until they reach the age of 4.
A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that older children do not need to use a car seat but that is not the case. Children between the ages of 4 and 8 need to be secured in a car seat or, at the very least, a booster seat. However, this rule does not apply if the child is taller than 4’9.
8 Years and above.
Once a child is 8 years old or taller than 4’9, they are no longer required by law to sit in a car seat. However, the law states that they must wear a seatbelt at all times while inside the vehicle.
What Are The Penalties For Breaking Oklahoma Car Seat Laws?
If you are caught driving with a child in the car and you are not using the correct car seat, there are certain penalties that you may incur. The maximum fine is $50 for a first offense, but the total figure can go up as high as $207.90 when the court costs are included. If you are found to be breaching the law again, the fines for second offenses can be a lot higher.
How To Choose The Right Car Seat
Choosing the right car seat and knowing how to use it safely is important if you want to make sure that you are on the right side of the law. There are a lot of car seats on the market, but some are not as safe as others, so you need to do your research before you buy.
If you are involved in an auto accident and your child is injured because their car seat did not protect them properly, it is important that you get in touch with us so you can make a claim against the manufacturer of the car seat.
Choosing The Right Car Seat
When you are choosing a car seat, there are 3 main types that you need to look into.
Infant Car Seats
Infant car seats are specifically designed for newborns and young babies. They can only be used as rear-facing seats, which all infants must sit in by law. They are very small and portable, but children do outgrow them quite quickly, so you will get through a few different ones. It is important that you upgrade your car seat when your child outgrows it, otherwise, they will not be properly secured.
Convertible Car Seats
Convertible seats are a great alternative because they are adjustable, so you don’t need to keep replacing them when your child grows. They come complete with a harness and they are easy to change from a rear-facing seat to a forward-facing one once your child is old enough to legally sit facing forward.
All-in-One Car Seats
All in one seats do everything that a convertible seat does, but they can also be changed into a booster seat. If you invest in a good all in one seat, it will do everything that you need to make sure that you are compliant with the law until your child reaches the age of 8.
When you are buying a car seat, it is important that you check the dimensions carefully so you can make sure that it will fit and keep your child safe. Car seats also have guidelines about the maximum height and weight and it is important that you follow these rules. If your child is too big for the seat, they will not be safe and we will not be able to help you make a claim if your child is not protected by the car seat.
Buying A Used Car Seat
Car seats can be expensive and you may decide that you want to save some money by buying a used car seat. That’s fine and used car seats are perfectly safe in most cases, but you do need to make sure that you are buying a reliable one.
Car seats have an expiration date on them, and if they are past the expiration date, you do not get any guarantees about safety from the manufacturer. It is important that you check the expiration date before you buy a used car seat so you can be sure that it is still safe to use.
If a car seat has been involved in an accident in the past, it will be damaged and the safety will be compromised. If you are buying a used car seat, it is important that you find out about its history and if it has been in an accident, don’t buy it.
Oklahoma Car Seat Programs
The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office has created a car seat program to help parents choose the right car seat and fit it properly. There are inspection stations around the state where you can have your car seat checked to make sure that the quality is good, and if you need assistance or advice about fitting it and securing your child, they can help with that as well.
You can find help with your car seats at the following locations:
- OU Children’s Hospital: 1200 Mark R Everett Dr, Oklahoma City, OK 73104
- Oklahoma State Department of Health: 1000 NE 10th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73104
- Oklahoma Highway Safety Office: 3223 N Lincoln Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK 73105
- Central Oklahoma Healthy Start: 3017 N Martin Luther King Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73111
If you are having financial issues and you are unable to afford a car seat, you may be entitled to some assistance. The Highway Safety Office will give a free car seat to people with limited means, so it may be worth enquiring.
Car Seat Safety Tips
When you are using a car seat, it is important that you fit it correctly to ensure that your child is safe. These car seat safety tips will help you to make sure that you are using your car seat properly at all times.
The biggest mistake that parents make is not fastening the straps tightly enough. You want your child to be comfortable, but the straps are there to keep your child secure, and if you don’t tighten them properly, it is unsafe. As long as you are using a good quality car seat, the straps will not hurt your child. If you are unsure how to tighten the straps, this video will walk you through the process.
When your child is under the age of 2, they are legally required to sit in a rear-facing position. However, when they reach the age of 2, you should not move your child to a front-facing car seat right away. Rear-facing seats are a lot safer because your child’s legs will not make contact with the seat in front of them in the event of a crash. As they get larger, you will need to switch to a front-facing seat but it’s best to keep them in a rear-facing one for as long as possible.
When it comes to using a booster seat, make sure that you don’t switch too early. The law states that a child can start using a booster seat as soon as they are over the age of 4 or they are taller than 4’9. However, it is important that children are sitting still in their booster seats, which can be a problem for younger children. It is best to keep your child in a full car seat for as long as possible and only switch to a booster seat once they are too big for it. A lot of parents make the mistake of getting rid of the booster seat too early as well. The purpose of the booster seat is to make sure that the seat belt sits in the right position, so test it without the booster seat and make sure that it is correctly positioned just above the hips before taking the seat away.
Finding the right position is important when installing a car seat of any kind, whether it is front-facing or rear-facing. You need to make sure that you can tether the car seat properly so it is secured while driving. In most cases, the center seat is the safest position for a car seat because your child is not as likely to hit their head on the seat in front if there is an accident.
Car seats have an expiry date on them for a reason, so it is important that you pay attention to them. Over time, the materials can degrade and the plastic shell of the car seat becomes brittle. This means that it no longer offers sufficient protection for your child in the event of a crash, so it needs to be replaced. Car seat technology also changes a lot, so upgrading your seat on a regular basis is the best way to make sure that your child is as safe as they can be. If you are involved in a crash, you need to replace your car seat, even if it does not appear to be damaged on the surface.
The Oklahoma Car Seat Laws are Clear
There are specific rules about the different kinds of car seats that children should use at different ages, and whenever they are in the car, it is so important that you follow these rules.
Choosing the right car seat is vital if you want to ensure that your child is safe, and it is important that you follow the guidelines set out by the law. If you are buying a used car seat, you need to make sure that you do your research and check the expiry dates because using an out of date car seat is incredibly dangerous.
It is best to keep your child in a full car seat for as long as possible, even if it is not required by law anymore. The laws set out the minimum car seat requirements for safety, but there is no reason why you cannot continue using a car seat for longer if you want to ensure that your child is safe.
If you are in an accident and you feel that your car seat did not protect your child, it is important that you get in touch with us and make a claim and make a claim against the manufacturer of the seat.