Even if you’re traveling in style, safety should be invited along for the ride. Limos fall into a different category than your personal car, and different rules and laws apply to these types of vehicles. A limo may feel safe due to its larger size, but a car seat is the best way to keep your child secure during your trip.
Vehicle Class and Regulations
Although all states now have a law requiring children to be secured in a child passenger protection device or seat belt, depending on weight, height and age, these laws apply to regular passenger vehicles. Limos are part of the commercial vehicle class and are exempt from this law in some states.
Even if the law doesn’t require the use of a car seat in the back of the limo, it doesn’t mean that you can’t choose to use one. As the Colorado Department of Transportation points out, just because the vehicle is exempt, doesn’t mean that traveling in a limo is any safer and it recommends that you use a car seat even in these types of vehicles.
You should plan ahead and make arrangements to have a car seat available for the ride. You can bring your own car seat and install it into the limo, especially if you will need one for the rest of your trip. If you only need it for the limo ride, the limo company may have a car seat you can reserve for your trip, so inquire about this beforehand. Specify the type of car seat that your child needs.
Type and Placement of Car Seat
To maximize your child’s safety and car seat effectiveness, you must use the right car seat, and then a booster, until your child is old enough to fit an adult seat belt. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, your child should use the booster seat until he can sit with the lap belt across his upper thighs, not his stomach, and the shoulder belt should lie snugly across the shoulder and chest, not his neck or face. The back seat is always the safest place for a child in a car seat, so don’t be tempted to put the child in the front seat of the limo.
- Summary of Vehicle Occupant Protections Laws; National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Car Seats & Booster Basics
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Securing Your Child
- Colorado Department of Transportation: Frequently Asked Questions
- Governors Highway Safety Association: Child Passenger Safety Laws
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety: Keeping Children Safe in Crashes: Choosing the Right Type of Restraint
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