What are the seat belt laws in Ohio?


Most of us in Ohio know that there are seat belt laws for children and we can all pretty much agree that these laws are put in place to try to protect our kids to the best ability of the state, aside from actually intervening in our lives. The seat belt laws that are in place now, were remanded in 2009, and haven't really changed since, as best we could find using the state websites that are publicly available. In short, if the seat belt laws have changed in any way since 2009, the state hasn't made it publicly clear.

Per the Health.Ohio.gov website, the most updated Ohio (obviously applies to Cleveland as well) laws are listed below. These are the most updated laws, and definitely worth a look if you haven't checked them recently, or ever.

As of Oct. 7, 2009, Ohio’s children are required to use belt-positioning booster seats once they outgrow their child safety seats until they are 8 years old, unless they are at least 4 feet, 9 inches (57 inches) tall.  

Ohio’s child passenger safety law requires the following:

  • Children less than 4 years old or 40 pounds must use a child safety seat meeting federal motor vehicle safety standards.
  • Children less than 8 years old, unless they are at least 4 feet, 9 inches tall must use a booster seat. (Booster seats can reduce risk of injury in a child by up to 59%!)
  • Children ages 8-15 must use a child safety seat or safety belt.

Fines will range from a minimum of $25 to a maximum of $75 per occurrence. A booster seat can be purchased for as little as $15.  Don’t wait for a ticket!  These laws are in place to help protect your children, so make sure to familiarize yourself with them and adhere to them as best you can.

Does Insurance cover car seats?

If you are in a car accident (hopefully without your child in the car) will your insurance company replace your car seat? In our experience in the insurance industry, the answer to this question is yes, your insurance company will replace your child's car seat if you are in an accident whether or not your child was actually in the seat at the time. The big problem with not replacing the car seat, even if your child wasn't in the seat, is that the jolt of the crash can actually damage the car seat enough to make it malfunction in the event you were in a car accident after the fact of the previous crash. Another problem is that you don't necessarily see the damage that has been done to the car seat, sometimes the frame can be bent underneath or the plastic could be weakened and you would never know until it was too late. Most insurance companies want to be on the safe side when it comes to helping protect your kids, so they will absolutely try to help you replace your car seat as seamlessly as possible.

Many times the insurance company will allow you to go and pick out a new car seat and submit your receipt for them to reimburse you after the fact. Most insurance companies will also allow you to buy a different model if your child is ready to move up from a baby car seat to a toddler or from a toddler car seat to a booster seat, or whatever your individual situation may be. If you aren't sure of your insurance policy when it comes to covering car seats, feel free to give us a call at 440.233.6199! We would be happy to walk you through your policy or even call the insurance carrier on your behalf to get clarification when it comes to covering car seats in the even you would get into an accident. We hope that you never have to use this coverage, but it is always good to know exactly what your policy would cover in case you would ever need it.

Do pregnant women need special seat belts?

Another question has come up recently around pregnant women and the new pregnancy specialty seat belts. The seat belts are actually the same seat belts that come equipped in your vehicle, but this invention allows you to loop the seat belt through a positioner that you sit on. This actually brings the seat belt down around the tops of your hips rather than being strewn across your belly, for obvious reasons! These seat belt positioners are becoming more popular and you can read more about them on their website here, saferide4kids.com/product/tummy-shield/.

What has your experience been?

We would love to hear from you if you had to have your child's car seat replaced after an accident. Feel free to connect with us in the following ways...

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