WV Car Seat Laws: Protecting the Safety of Your Child

Child passenger safety is a growing concern among parents and highway safety agencies, and West Virginia (WV) is no exception. Every year, it seems that booster seats, baby seats, and seat belts are recalled due to product safety concerns. To keep our kids safe, WV car seat laws are strictly implemented. You can help by knowing applicable laws and by holding the car seat manufacturer accountable when a seat doesn’t perform as it should to protect your child.

WV Car Seat Laws: Child Passenger Safety Devices

Car Seats

The WV Child Passenger Safety Law mandates that a child under eight years old must be secured in a federally-approved car seat that is appropriate for his or her age, weight, and height. Safety car seats, such as infant seats and booster seats, must be installed properly to avoid unnecessary injuries due to defective car seats. 


Moreover, it is important to keep in mind car seat laws in WV:

  • Children under two years old must be secured in a rear-facing car seat and should not be placed in front of an active air bag.
  • A forward-facing car seat equipped with a five-point harness may be used for two-year-old children.
  • A booster seat may be used for four-year-old children weighing around 40 pounds.
  • A booster seat must always be used until eight years old or when a child’s height reaches four feet and nine inches.
  • Children under 13 years old must ride in the back seat.

Seat Belts

Another aspect outlined in WV car seat laws is the proper use of seat belts. When a child is eight years old or reaches four feet, nine inches in height, a regular seat belt will suffice WV child passenger safety guideline. The proper use of seat belts on children includes placing the shoulder belt at the center of the collar bone, positioning the hip belt across the hips, and ensuring that the seat’s back provides adequate head support.

WV Child Passenger Safety Program

The WV Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Program is created to further enhance WV car seat laws. The program receives federal funding to provide the public with free education and training, which help people learn more about seat belt safety, proper installation of baby car seats, and recalls related to defective car seats. Due to this program, there are now a number of certified individuals who can install a car seat properly. Proper installation is a simple process that can save lives.

Implications of WV Car Seat Laws

The WV car seat laws protect child passengers by outlining safety guidelines and penalties in the event of violation. For example, police officers are allowed to stop and ticket individuals who do not properly buckle children in the vehicle. Anyone found violating the law will be deemed guilty of misdemeanor and shall be fined $10-$20.

The WV child passenger safety (CPS) program is a great addition to WV child car seat laws. The CPS program not only provides trainings on proper car seat installation, it also keeps people aware of recalls related to faulty car seats in WV. This empowers West Virginians to avoid using car seat products that can potentially harm their children.

Need Help With Your Claim on Faulty Car Seat in WV?

If your child suffers injuries due to a faulty car seat in WV, you may have a valid legal claim against the car seat manufacturer. To learn more about WV car seat laws and product liability laws, call the attorneys at Hendrickson & Long, PLLC. We have years of experience representing injured people in product liability claims in WV. Contact us today at 304-346-5500.