Blog & Firm NewsWhen Can A Child Sit in the Front Seat in Michigan?

April 22, 20220

Keeping young children safe should be a top priority for parents and caregivers – especially within a moving vehicle. In fact, an annual data report from the CDC indicated that 636 children died and nearly 100,000 were injured in 2018 from motor vehicle-related accidents. This, unfortunately, is a leading cause of death for children between the ages of children between the ages of 1 and 13. As a result, Michigan, like other states, has enacted their own child passenger safety laws, including laws indicating when a child is legally permitted to sit in the front seat.

Have you or a loved one been involved in an auto accident? Contact a Michigan Car Accident Lawyer today.

What is Michigan Law for Child in Front Seat?

To summarize, the Michigan Child Front Seat Law permits children ages 4 and up to sit in the front seat of a vehicle. However, children between the ages of 4 – 8 and under 4′ 9” must continue sitting in a car or booster seat until they reach either age or height requirement. This applies to both front and back seats of a vehicle.

According to Michigan Legislature, “A child who is 4 years of age or older but less than 8 years of age and who is less than 4 feet 9 inches in height shall be properly secured in a child restraint system in accordance with the child restraint manufacturer’s and vehicle manufacturer’s instructions and the standards prescribed in 49 CFR 571.213” (MCL 257.710e(3)(b)). This law is also applied to children sitting in the rear seat. Drivers who are found guilty of allowing a child to ride within a vehicle without the proper seat restraints or safety belts can face serious penalties.
Can A Child Under the Age of 4 Sit in the Front Seat in Michigan?

According to Michigan State Police, the Michigan’s Child Passenger Safety Law does permit a child under the age of 4 to sit in the front seat of a vehicle only if the backseat of a vehicle is fully occupied by other children under the age of 4. If all other seats are accounted for, then a child under the age of 4 is permitted to sit in the front, as long as…

  • The child is in a rear-facing car seat, and
  • The passenger air bag is turned off.

Speak with a Car Accident Lawyer to learn more about Michigan child safety laws.

Do These Laws Apply to Every Form of Vehicle?

No. According to Michigan Legislature the law that permits children from sitting in the front seat does not apply to an operator or passenger of any of the following…

  • Motor vehicles manufactured before January 1, 1965,
  • Buses,
  • Motorcycles,
  • Mopeds,
  • Motor vehicles where the operator or passenger possesses a written verification from a physician that the operator or passenger is unable to wear a safety belt for physical or medical reasons,
  • Motor vehicle that are not required to be equipped with safety belts under federal law,
    Commercial or United States Postal Service vehicles that makes frequent stops for the purpose of pickup or delivery of goods or services, and
  • Motor vehicles operated by a rural carrier of the United States Postal Service while serving his or her rural postal route (MCL 257.710e(1)(A),(B),(C),(D),(E),(F), (G), and (H)).

Elia & Ponto – Lawyers Who Care

Complex Michigan auto laws can be difficult to understand, which is why Elia and Ponto is here to help! Our skilled lawyers are readily available to help you and your loved ones understand important laws and assist you in the event of an accident – 24/7. Don’t wait, contact us today for a free consultation.

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