Is it illegal for a FF carseat to go in the front seat? - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-17-2005, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Please don't flame me. I just need some carseat information...

Basically, there is a possibility that I will be driving from Portland to NY, alone with dd. I am not looking forward to this at all. I don't have much of a choice.... I don't know of anyone who could drive with me, and I need as much space available in the car as possible (I am bringing whatever will fit in my car).

I have heard of some people who put a carseat in the front seat, as long as the air bag was turned off. Is this legal? I imagine its not preferable.... but just for this trip, I may want to do this if at all possible. Its going to be so so so so difficult, and I think dd would be much happier if she could sit with me. That also would free up the entire back area / trunk for all of my stuff.

So, does anyone know? Has anyone done this? I only want the carseat in the front for the trip.... once I'm in NY, she would go in the back again.

I'm not even positive that I'm going yet... but this is a big issue that I am trying to work out. TIA.
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Old 11-17-2005, 05:02 PM
 
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I'm sure it's not illegal. Have a good trip!
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Old 11-17-2005, 05:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kirei
Please don't flame me. I just need some carseat information...

Basically, there is a possibility that I will be driving from Portland to NY, alone with dd. I am not looking forward to this at all. I don't have much of a choice.... I don't know of anyone who could drive with me, and I need as much space available in the car as possible (I am bringing whatever will fit in my car).

I have heard of some people who put a carseat in the front seat, as long as the air bag was turned off. Is this legal? I imagine its not preferable.... but just for this trip, I may want to do this if at all possible. Its going to be so so so so difficult, and I think dd would be much happier if she could sit with me. That also would free up the entire back area / trunk for all of my stuff.

So, does anyone know? Has anyone done this? I only want the carseat in the front for the trip.... once I'm in NY, she would go in the back again.

I'm not even positive that I'm going yet... but this is a big issue that I am trying to work out. TIA.


I would check with local authorities.

I would not do it. I just would worry too much.
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Old 11-17-2005, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinkerBelle
I would check with local authorities.

I would not do it. I just would worry too much.

I will check with them, but I'm also wondering if the law varies by state. That could make things really really difficult, driving across the country.

I'm really torn on the issue, because it would be ideal for her to be in the front seat with me, for many reasons. So its a really hard decision. :\
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Old 11-17-2005, 05:28 PM
 
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I would actually put my dd in the front seat if I could get the bag deactivated. It would make things easier in many ways. It's not illegal, btw.

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Old 11-17-2005, 05:37 PM
 
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I'm not an expert on this, and I hope DallasChildren, who IS an expert, responds to this, but here's what I would say:

Illegal or not, the front seat is NOT the safest seat.
By putting your child in the front seat, you're choosing to put him in a seat that you know is not as safe as one in the back.

Can you live with that?

Another safety issue with packing the cab of your car with stuff. In an accident, that stuff can become lethally wicked projectiles.

Quick physics lesson: mass x speed = force. That means that the weight of object X is multiplied times the speed at which you're going. If you have a can of soup that weighs one pound, let's say, it's going at 60 miles an hour if your car is going 60.

Okay, if your car stops, that can is still going at 60 mph. At one pound, that can now hits the windshield with the force of 60 mph -- it's as if the can weighed sixty pounds.

Now multiply that can times (for example) a ten-pound cooler full of ice and sodas. 10 x 60 = 600 pounds. A flying 600-pound cooler in your car is no fun.

Now. Imagine it hitting your head. Or someone else's head.
You decide what you want in the cab of your car.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kirei
Please don't flame me. I just need some carseat information...

Basically, there is a possibility that I will be driving from Portland to NY, alone with dd. I am not looking forward to this at all. I don't have much of a choice.... I don't know of anyone who could drive with me, and I need as much space available in the car as possible (I am bringing whatever will fit in my car).

I have heard of some people who put a carseat in the front seat, as long as the air bag was turned off. Is this legal? I imagine its not preferable.... but just for this trip, I may want to do this if at all possible. Its going to be so so so so difficult, and I think dd would be much happier if she could sit with me. That also would free up the entire back area / trunk for all of my stuff.

So, does anyone know? Has anyone done this? I only want the carseat in the front for the trip.... once I'm in NY, she would go in the back again.

I'm not even positive that I'm going yet... but this is a big issue that I am trying to work out. TIA.
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Old 11-17-2005, 05:41 PM
 
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So how would you suggest she transport the stuff she'll be taking? Rent one of those top things (that look like big mac boxes) or a trailer? They're not that expensive I don't think and worth it for the safety and breathing room in the car.
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Old 11-17-2005, 05:49 PM
 
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I know your under pressure, but I would spend the extra $$ and get a Uhaul trailer hook up one way. I could not take the chance and you would never be able to live with yourself if something happened to her. Good luck and hope everything works out for you

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Old 11-17-2005, 05:58 PM
 
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I'd rent the trailer. It's safest in the back seat. And, since she'll be newly 1 (I'm assuming that you're not going until after she turns 1 since you said she'll be FF), you should really consider keeping her rear-facing anyway. It's much, much, MUCH safer for her.
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Old 11-17-2005, 05:59 PM
 
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I vote for roof rack. I think there are some bags that don't even need to use the car's racks, but can just sit on top of the car.
I agree, I don't think it's illegal for a kid to be in the front if all the other spots are being used. I loved driving with dd when I had a pick-up and had to put dd besides me (pre airbag truck)
As far as stuff flying around in a wreck, I would secure your stuff with the seatbelts. I've done that with a TV and a large cat carrier.

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Old 11-17-2005, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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nak

i have looked into getting the trailer.... i have a jetta with no hitch and the trailer is not available for my car. and i cant afford it either. i dont have a roof rack, but i was planning on seeing if i could find something to tie up there.... tho i dont think its possible.

anyway, i already have a ton of stuff in my car? toys, books, clothes, drinks.... that stuff is always there, even though i try to clean it out once in a while.

also its not just that i want the extra space.... but it will be a loooooong trip and really difficult. dd will be happier sitting with me and much less stressful. i feel that it would make a difficult trip easier.

yes i would be waiting for her to turn 1.

p.s. im not trying to say that her safety isnt worth the money or anything.....
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Old 11-17-2005, 08:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kirei
nak

i have looked into getting the trailer.... i have a jetta with no hitch and the trailer is not available for my car. and i cant afford it either. i dont have a roof rack, but i was planning on seeing if i could find something to tie up there.... tho i dont think its possible.

anyway, i already have a ton of stuff in my car? toys, books, clothes, drinks.... that stuff is always there, even though i try to clean it out once in a while.

also its not just that i want the extra space.... but it will be a loooooong trip and really difficult. dd will be happier sitting with me and much less stressful. i feel that it would make a difficult trip easier.

yes i would be waiting for her to turn 1.

p.s. im not trying to say that her safety isnt worth the money or anything.....

Hi Kirei,

If you can let me know what state you are in, I will link you to the applicable state law. It sounds like your situation doesn't have too many other options. I do have one question though....could you ship some of the stuff (or all of it) to your destination? That would alleviate the two safety concerns prior PP's have mentioned...having to place your child in the front seat and having the car loaded with dangerous projectiles if you should wreck.

Dallaschildren
CPS tech and momma to 2 sons in seats
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Old 11-17-2005, 08:48 PM
 
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Ok...had a senior moment...I see your location is Portland which I will assume is Oregon...here is your state law....

Oregon Laws Regarding Child Passengers
ORS 811.210
A child who is under four years of age and weighs 40 pounds or less must be properly secured with a child safety system designed for children weighing 40 pounds or less.

A child who is at least four years of age and under six years of age or weighs between 40 and 60 pounds must be properly secured with a child safety system that elevates the person so that a safety belt or safety harness properly fits the person. "Proper fit" means the lap belt of the safety belt or safety harness is positioned low across the thighs and the shoulder belt is positioned over the collarbone and away from the neck.The child safety system must be designed for children weighing between 40 and 60 pounds.

A child who is at least six years of age and weighs 60 pounds or more must be properly secured with a safety belt or safety harness.

Effective January 1, 2004 Senate Bill 182 exempts a child from the booster seat requirement when the rear seat of the vehicle he or she is riding in is equipped only with lap belts, provided the child is secured by the lap belt.

The offense described in this section, failure to properly use safety belts or child restraints, is a Class D traffic violation resulting in a $94.00 fine.


Where are you driving to? If it is another state, once you cross the state line, you will be held accountable for violations within that state.

Okee dokee...another senior moment : ....you said you are driving to NY. Here is their law:

http://www.health.state.ny.us/preven...oster_seat.htm


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Old 11-17-2005, 09:16 PM
 
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what i would do is when u r travelling thru wide open spaces - no crowd have ur dd in the front seat.

when u r driving thru busy traffic have her in teh back.

btw is it portland maine or portland oregon? if it is oregon then definitely check weather reports too.

oh and i personally see - esp. with moms with a few kids, car seats in the front seat where either there is no airbag or the air bag has been disabled.

i would say before u travel completely empty out the car. i know what u mean about things collecting in teh car. and then when u put things in secure everything tightly. get those elasticised ropes with hooks. take small items and put them in big bags so u dont have many small items but a few big ones.

best of luck. it might be much more easier than u think and perhaps things will work out well.

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Old 11-17-2005, 09:24 PM
 
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When I was trying to figure out if I could fit 3 carseats in my car the local state police car seat 'person' suggested putting DD (4) in the front w/the seat as far back as possible (she then said no since I have airbags and can't turn them off). Good luck and I hope everything goes well. FWIW - I would do it if I was in your position.

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Old 11-17-2005, 09:30 PM
 
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It's illegal in Ohio (or was when my cousin got a ticket for it 4 or 5 years ago)

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Old 11-17-2005, 09:36 PM
 
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In terms of packing and preventing projectiles in case of an accident, put the heaviest stuff on the bottom and use blankets and bungee cords or rachets to tie everything down on top. This can also help with your visibility.

As far as my daughter goes, I wouldn't put her in the front seat, even if she were old enough and heavy/tall enough to be forward facing, especially for that long of a trip. Her happiness means the world to me, but her safety means EVERYTHING. In a situation where I just have to spend that much time in a car, I'd much rather have her be unhappy than in a position of increased danger.
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Old 11-17-2005, 09:39 PM
 
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Is there any way that you can preship some of the stuff you want/need to take with you to the state you are going to?
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Old 11-17-2005, 10:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
Illegal or not, the front seat is NOT the safest seat.
By putting your child in the front seat, you're choosing to put him in a seat that you know is not as safe as one in the back.

Can you live with that?
Illegal or not, driving a car is not the safest transportation option. Staying home or taking public transportation is safest. But most people don't limit themselves in that way- yet live with that without a second thought.
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Old 11-17-2005, 10:26 PM
 
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Old 11-17-2005, 10:49 PM
 
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personally, i would have her RF in the front seat with the air bag turned off and the seat as far back as it goes. she is safer RF than FF, in the back or front seat.
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Old 11-17-2005, 11:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srain
Illegal or not, driving a car is not the safest transportation option. Staying home or taking public transportation is safest. But most people don't limit themselves in that way- yet live with that without a second thought.
I doubt that all of them live with that without a second thought. I have a feeling there are far too many second-thinkers out there and I feel sorry for every one of them.
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Old 11-17-2005, 11:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbhf
personally, i would have her RF in the front seat with the air bag turned off and the seat as far back as it goes. she is safer RF than FF, in the back or front seat.
actually, i would do that, but there is a warning on the visor in the front seat, AND on the carseat, that you cannot put a REAR facing carseat in the front seat. i have no idea why. if it goes in the front, it is going to have to be forward facing, apparently.

but hey, i'll try to look into it a bit more. maybe i misunderstood. does anyone know why a RF seat cannot go in the front?


dallaschildren -- what you quoted there did not say anything about carseats in the front seat. or did i just miss something?

i will already be mailing some of my things at some point. but i have so much stuff, in all different places... i cannot avoid packing the car. i will be packing the fragile stuff, as well as clothes, blankets, etc... the stuff i need with me immediately. it fills up REALLY fast, no matter how we work it out. we have driven this twice.... enough to know that we need all the room we can get. i will have to mail a ton even with packing the car.

i cannot switch her back and front, from front to back. it will have to be one or the other. the car will be packed in such a way that i cannot unpack and repack it during the trip.

i will definitely get some bungee cords to secure the stuff packed in my car, thanks for the suggestion.

anyway, about the setup in the back... dd will be surrounded by all the stuff in the back. there wont be a lot of room for her things. she'll have toys of course, but yeah. even if i put her in the back, i will have her forward facing, if nothing else. we need to be able to see each other for this trip.
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Old 11-17-2005, 11:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbhf
personally, i would have her RF in the front seat with the air bag turned off and the seat as far back as it goes. she is safer RF than FF, in the back or front seat.
: If you absolutely have to have her in the front seat, please do leave her rear-facing and double- and triple- check the airbag (if you have one). My guess is that the sign is there because you have airbags or automatic seatbelts (another no-no). Check to see if the airbag can be disengaged. I cannot caution you strongly enough against putting your newly 1-year-old daughter forward-facing in the front seat. That's increasing her danger level significantly. Nothing magical happens at 1 year of age to make your child better able to withstand a forward projection. They just had to put the line somewhere (and, IMO, they chose to draw it way too early).

This page has good info:

http://www.buckleupnc.org/using_installation.cfm


Apparently, installing in the back seat increases safety by 25%. That's pretty significant. I know you're low on options, though.
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Old 11-18-2005, 12:38 AM
 
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I just searched and you can find roof carriers that don't require a roof rack.

mom to 14yr dd and 4yr dd
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Old 11-18-2005, 12:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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dragonfly -- thank you!! that link was so informative. i only was considering putting her ff in the front because i thought i HAD to (because of the warnings in the car).

the car does not have an automatic seatbelt, but i will make absolutely sure about the airbag.
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Old 11-18-2005, 01:46 AM
 
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I do want to reiterate and EMPHASIZE several suggestions to check state laws for EVERY state you would be passing through...basically, you are crossing the country, yes?....you would hate to wind up with a huge ticket because you happened to go through a state where being in the front seat is illegal....if you WILL be passing through a state(s) where it is illegal, that might make the difference as to whether you put her in the front seat at all, if you are not going to be able to change it midway.......which would be nice to know BEFORE you packed up your car...LOL!..I can tell you for sure that it is NOT illegal in Indiana, if that helps.........
I also second the putting her RF, if you do not have an airbag or auto. seatbelts...it will make being in the front seat a bit safer....although I want to say I understand your concerns here...Safety being as very important as it is, driving all the way across the US with a screaming, unhappy toddler in the backseat would be awful, and if her being in the front helps, I would go for it!!
Personally, I refuse to travel with my angel for more than about 20 mins at a time in the car (basically, in-town driving, to the store, etc), except during the night, when she is sleeping, because it is too horribly awful for us...We are making the Thanksgiving trek (3.5 hrs one-way) in the middle of the night (good thing DH loves coffee!!!). I can not IMAGINE what an amazing person you are to be doing this....best of luck!!

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Old 11-18-2005, 03:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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bobandjess99 - im trying to find the laws in each state, thank you. i cant seem to find any clear easy-to-understand information though. ohio may be an issue... if it still is against the law, then i guess i dont have a choice. i cannot avoid driving through ohio.
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Old 11-18-2005, 01:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kirei
actually, i would do that, but there is a warning on the visor in the front seat, AND on the carseat, that you cannot put a REAR facing carseat in the front seat. i have no idea why. if it goes in the front, it is going to have to be forward facing, apparently.

but hey, i'll try to look into it a bit more. maybe i misunderstood. does anyone know why a RF seat cannot go in the front?
as someone else said, the reason is airbags. just make sure they're turned off.
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Old 11-18-2005, 01:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
Illegal or not, the front seat is NOT the safest seat. By putting your child in the front seat, you're choosing to put him in a seat that you know is not as safe as one in the back. Can you live with that?
I'm curious, I keep my 4 year old's car seat in the center of the back seat - despite enormous inconvenience - because it is by far the safest place in the car to sit. Is that what you do?
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