When planning a family vacation to Tennessee, be sure you adhere to (or exceed) local kid passenger safety regulations.
Tennessee Car Seat Regulations
T.C.A. 55-9-602 contains the official Tennessee car seat legislation.
Tennessee’s Car Seat Rear-Facing Law
The state of Tennessee mandates that children under the age of one ride in a rear-facing car seat.
In addition, parents must follow the manufacturer’s requirements for their individual car seat (known as “appropriate usage”).
Some manufacturers allow children as young as one year to forward face as long as they weigh at least 22 pounds, while others require toddlers to be at least two years old.
To the manufacturer’s restrictions, Tennessee public safety authorities allow (and even encourage) youngsters to stay rear facing.
Rear-facing is far safer for kids since it reduces the risk of head and neck injuries substantially.
This website is jam-packed with useful information.
The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that youngsters stay rear-facing to the limitations of their convertible car seat.
Almost all rear-facing convertible car seats nowadays can support children up to 40 pounds (height limitations vary, so check your handbook) — the size of a typical 4-year-old.
Children must also wear a forward-facing harness until they reach the age of three, according to Tennessee law.
Despite the fact that it isn’t required by law, research suggests that children should ride in a strapped car seat (whether rear-facing or forward-facing) until they are at least 5 years old, 40 pounds, and mature enough to sit correctly for the whole journey.
Booster Seat Law in Tennessee
Booster seat legislation in Tennessee apply to children from the age of four to nine years old.
Make that your booster seat meets the manufacturer’s minimum and maximum size criteria – most manufacturers now need a minimum of 4 years old, 40′′ tall, and 40 pounds.
Adult seatbelts are meant to accommodate a 165-pound guy, so don’t hurry out of the booster seat.
In Tennessee, when may children ride in the front seat?
Tennessee mandates children to sit in the rear seat until they are 9 years old or 4’9′′ tall, although many automobile manufacturers recommend that youngsters not ride in the front seat until they are 13 years old.
This is a great explanation of why.
Tennessee’s car seat rules haven’t been revised since 2004, and they don’t match our current understanding of kid passenger safety.
In 2016, the legislature enacted an outstanding measure mandating rear-facing until at least age 2, delaying boostering until age 4, and keeping large kids safe in booster seats until they are 4’9′′ or age 12.
Unfortunately, some members of the legislature recalled the measure before it could be signed into law.
That legislation is likely to be reintroduced in the future.
Children under the age of one (1) year, or any child weighing twenty (20) pounds or less, must be restrained in a rear-facing child passenger restraint system that meets federal.
(Note: If the child safety seat has a greater rear-facing weight rating, such as 30 or 35 pounds, it may be used in this position for as long as the kid’s weight allows.)
For further information, see the manufacturer’s instructions that came with the kid safety seat.)
Children weighing more than twenty (20) pounds and aged one to three (3) must be restrained in a forward-facing child safety seat in the back seat, if available, or according to the child safety restraint system or vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations.
Children aged four (4) to eight (8) who are under four feet nine inches (4’9″) tall “) in height, must be restrained in the rear seat, if available, in a belt-positioning booster seat that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards, or according to the child safety restraint system or vehicle manufacturer’s instructions.
Children aged nine (9) to twelve (12), or any youngster aged nine (9) to twelve (12), who is four feet nine inches (4’9”) tall “) or more must be restrained by a seat belt system.
Any such youngster should be seated in the back seat if one is available.
(Note: If the kid is not between the ages of nine (9) and twelve (12), but is four feet nine inches (4’9”) tall, the child will be considered an adult.
Children aged thirteen (13) to fifteen (15) must be restrained using a passenger restraint system that meets federal motor vehicle safety requirements, including safety belts.
Transportation of children in medically recommended modified child restraints is allowed.
A copy of the doctor’s prescription must be kept in the vehicle at all times while using the modified kid restraint.
The driver of the automobile is responsible for ensuring that minors under the age of sixteen (16) are properly restrained, and if they are not, they may be penalized and fined $50.00.
If the child’s parent or legal guardian is in the vehicle but not driving, the parent or legal guardian is responsible for ensuring the child’s safe transportation and may be penalized if they fail to do so.
When police officers see drivers breaking the law, they are allowed to stop them and take enforcement action.
PLEASE RESTRAIN CHILDREN PROPERLY.