In the months of July and August of 2005, Illinois Department of Transportation conducted a survey. They found that out of 3,000 children traveling in 2,200 cars, 55% were using car seats wrong!
In 2016, 723 children aged 12 and younger died in motor vehicle crashes. Following the car seat laws can bring this number down substantially because car seats can reduce the risk of injury in a crash by 71%.
Illinois Car Seat Law
According to Illinois car seat law:
“When any person is transporting a child in this State under the age of 8 years in a non‑commercial motor vehicle of the first division, a motor vehicle of the second division with a gross vehicle weight rating of 9,000 pounds or less, or a recreational vehicle on the roadways, streets or highways of this State, such person shall be responsible for providing for the protection of such child by properly securing him or her in an appropriate child restraint system.” (Source)
Illinois Infant/Toddler Car Seat Law
Illinois law requires children under age 2 to be properly secured in a rear-facing child restraint system. Children must remain rear-facing until age 2.
Illinois Rear-facing Car Seat Law
Children are required to travel in rear-facing seats by Illinois laws if:
- Under the age of 2
- Shorter than 40 inch
- Less than 40 pounds
Children should remain in a rear-facing safety seat for as long as possible. It can be as high as 4 years of age.
Illinois Forward-facing Car Seat Law
According to Illinois law, between the age of 4 to 8 when your child has outgrown the weight and height limit of the rear-facing car seat, you can graduate them to the forward-facing car seat that has a harness system.
Child Booster Seat Laws in Illinois
The law says that between 8 to 12 years age, children will travel in a booster seat.
When Can My Child Sit in the Front Seat in Illinois?
There are no laws on the front seat issue in Illinois. But experts recommend it is not safe for kids to sit in the front seat before the age of 13. After the age of 13, when it’s secure to travel in a car seat belt, your child can sit in the front seat. Experts tell us that back seats are the safer part of the car and you should keep your children in the back seat for as long as possible.
Leaving Child in Car Law in Illinois
It is illegal to leave a child in a car alone for more than 10 minutes unless they are being supervised by a child no younger than 14 years.
Is it Illegal to Smoke in a Car with a Child in Illinois?
Smoking is illegal in a car with a child passenger.
Taxi Car Seat Law in Illinois
Illinois law is a little bit vague about car seat laws and taxis. The law reads:
“The parent or legal guardian of a child under the age of 8 years shall provide a child restraint system to any person who transports his or her child.” (Source)
Places to Get Car Seat Help in Illinois
Good Car Seat Videos for Illinoisans Parents
Illinois Secretary of State - Child Safety Seat - PSA
Illinois Department of Transportation – Child Seat Crash Test
American Automobile Association - Rear-Facing Seats
American Automobile Association - forward-Facing Seats
American Automobile Association - Seat Belts
Cincinnati Children's Guide on How to Install a Car Seat
Car Seat Safety
NHTSA Tutorial on How to Install a Car Seat
Resources for More Info on Illinois Car Seat Safety
With two kids of my own, I’m passionate about child safety! I’m a research nerd who’s on a mission to make the world a safer place for kids – starting with car seats!
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