Infants Car Seats

Updated on December 04, 2012
X.2. asks from Washington, DC
9 answers

i have a cocern about Infants Car Seats.. I live in California and want to know, "Can i put an infant car seat in the front seat of a car if it does not have a back seat?" It would be my husband driving baby in middle and me on passenger seat.. Is that legall or okay to do. Oh and the car does not have airbags. My son is 9 months. Once again he will be in the middle of us two and no air bags.
Thanks, Maria

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So What Happened?

I know its unsafe for my little one but as of now i cant avoid this. We are going to get a new car hopefully by this weekend or not the next. Your answers have been very helpful. Thank you all!

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answers from Washington DC on

According to this, it is legal, but it is best if he's in the back when possible.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Portland on

Look up car seat rules on the Internet for your state. In Oregon it is legal to put the car seat in the front seat when there is no back seat. And, it's highly unlikely that you'll even be in an accident and if you are it's highly unlikely that your baby will be hurt. Assuming you drive safely. Those serious major accidents are really few and far between. Yes, it's taking a risk but it's only a very slight risk.

BTW I'm a retired police officer.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

It is legal, as long as the car seat is properly secured with Latch or with the seat belt. Since the car doesn't have a backseat, and no air bags, it is no different than the baby being in the back seat. It's airbags that make it so unsafe for a car seat to be in the front seat. Obviously, the larger the vehicle, the safer your baby can be (and the safer you, or anybody, would be), but if all you have is a very small car, then as long as the car seat is properly secured, it is legal.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Not the greatest but it is only for the week so just be careful. I am going to get a new car this week too. Hoping to have it by the weekend.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I looked online. In California, yes, it's legal.

Is there any way you can avoid this? Any way, at all? Legal does not equal safe...unfortunately. You would not be breaking any laws, but it's just so very unsafe.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Make sure the carseat is rear-facing for anyone up to 2, as a minimum (better 3 or 4). I assume you have the standard infant kind, but even as he grows keep him rear-facing for his safety in a convertible seat. And with air-bags, of course not up front, it could be fatal easily. But even with no air-bags, it's a situation I would avoid but not rule out. Make sure the carseat is TIGHT and installed with the seatbelt (I know you don't have latch up front), so it barely moves when you tug at the belt-path.

Hope you get the new car soon!



answers from Oklahoma City on

If the air bag can be turned off it should be safe for them BUT it may be against the law in any case. In Oklahoma I called the Highway Patrol office to ask about kids riding in the back of a pick up. Since it's a rural state they have no seatbelt laws or laws at all pertaining to this situation. If they saw kids seated and not being dangerous they would not stop the vehicle. If the kids were wrestling around and possibly in danger they would stop the vehicle and ask the driver to make sure the kids stayed seated.

So even if there are specific laws against something on the books there may be expected expectations that will be overlooked.

Not having a back seat is similar to cars that were built before seatbelts were required. They do not make the owners of those cars install seatbelts since it would negatively effect the value of the antique car.

So I think calling the local high way patrol and asking them what you should do would be the right thing to do in this case.

Just because a child is in the backseat does NOT give it more protection. Especially if that car is a convertible or a small car with little or no trunk. There are vehicles that are much more dangerous for a child to be in the back seat than in the front.



answers from Los Angeles on

Yes, it is legal if there is no alternative.



answers from Los Angeles on

Check with California Highway Patrol. They can tell you current laws.

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