Violating this law puts a child at risk for injury in case of an accident and can result in a $75 fine for the first offense and a $200 fine for subsequent offenses.
Because children may grow at significantly different rates, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that car seats for children continue to stay rear-facing for as long as the child meets the car seat’s height and weight restrictions — despite the child’s age.
The new law in Illinois accounts for the different rates of growth in children by making exceptions to the rear-facing car seat rule if a child under the age of two weighs more than 40 pounds or is taller than 40 inches.
Why is rear-facing safer than forward-facing?
Rear-facing car seats are safest for children who fit the height and weight restrictions of the car seat because it decreases the likelihood of a head, neck or spine injury to the child in a car accident. The seat is also better able to absorb crash forces from this direction, so long as the child fits the seat, the seat fits the vehicle and the seat is used according to manufacturing guidelines.
According to Illinois seat belt law, all drivers and passengers in both the front and back seat who are 8 years or older must wear a seat belt. Drivers can be fined for passengers who do not wear their seatbelts properly or infants that are not using car seats in accordance with the Child Passenger Protection Act.
While these precautions are put in place to keep you safe in case of an accident, you should still seek medical attention any time you or your child are involved in a crash. Always make sure to consult with a personal injury attorney about the next steps you can take after being involved in a car accident.