Kids In The Front Seat...Just Say "No"

The rear seat of our cars is the safest place for our kids.

It's been about a year since I first wrote about how dangerous it is to allow our children to sit in the front passenger seat of a car. However, since I still see so many kids unnecessarily riding in the front seat of cars that I pass, I thought it was time to once again stress the danger.

New York State's official Seat Belt Law Brochure states "FOR MAXIMUM PROTECTION, CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 12 SHOULD SIT IN THE REAR SEAT OF THE VEHICLE." I also believe that most cars have this warning located on the passenger seat visor as well.

This is because in an accident airbags deploy with a speed of around 240 miles per hour, the force of which can be fatal or cause serious injuries to a child under 12. I know that most kids want to sit in the front seat before they are 12, and may even ask us everyday to sit in the front. I know for a long time my son did, but I never gave in. Day in and day out he would hit me with "Why not, all my friends sit in the front seat?" Eventually he gave up because my reply was always "No, the airbag is dangerous." Now that my daughter is getting older I thought I would hear the begging as well, but surprisingly I haven't. I can only guess that because she saw that I never allowed my son to do it, that she knew what my answer was going to be.

So, just say "no," you just may save your child's life.

Keep it safe out there.

Mark T. Freeley, Esq. - www.NorthShoreInjuryLawyer.com

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Marilyn sloan May 25, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Mark besides age bring a factor is there a weight the kids should b??
Mark T. Freeley, Esq. May 26, 2012 at 01:18 AM
Marilyn, from what I have read, anywhere from 80 to 100 pounds as a minimum recommended weight for the front seat. However, most airbags were apparently designed for a 165 pound male, which makes them dangerous for kids as their bones are not yet done developing. Many sites say that a child shouldn't sit in the front seat until they are 15, some say not until they are ready to drive. The bottom line is that the rear seat is much safer period. I read a statistic that in a head on collision, a child is one- third more likely to die if sitting in the front seat instead of the rear seat...that is scary.
GM May 27, 2012 at 12:06 AM
It stuns me to see young children in the front seat. Shotgun has been called the death seat since the 70s. My kids gave me a tough time but got used to riding in the back, as they know it was policy. No debate on this one. We have to eliminate the easy mistakes we could make regarding our children's safety, and this is a no-brainer. It's an age thing, forget the weight issue. When they are 13 then they can ride up front.
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