ALBANY -- Children will eventually have to ride in rear-facing car seats until they are age 2.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law Monday that requires all children under 2 years old to be seated in rear-facing car seats as a safety measure.
The law takes effect Nov. 1, 2019.
Previously, there was no age requirement to use rear-facing car seats in New York.
“A rear-facing car seat law will help prevent injuries," John Corlett, legislative chairman for AAA of New York, said in a statement.
"Young children are safer in rear-facing car seats, and prior child passenger safety laws have reduced injuries among targeted populations. In New York, a one-year-old child is injured in a traffic crash once a day, on average.”
The only exception to the new law is for children who exceed height and weight requirements of the car seat.
They will be allowed to use a forward facing car seat.
Similar laws are in place in California, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania. The legislation states that traffic accidents are one of the leading causes of death for children, and it cites statistics that point how rear-facing seats can prevent injuries and death.
Children younger than 2 were 75 percent more likely to sustain an injury while in a front-facing car seat than when they were in a rear-facing car seat, according to a 2007 University of Virginia study.
The idea behind using a rear-facing car seat is that it provides better support for a child’s head and neck.
According to the America Academy of Pediatrics, rear-facing car seats help to more evenly distribute crash forces over the entire body by supporting a younger child’s head, minimizing the impact of the crash on the child.
Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, D-Ossining, Westchester County, and Sen. Joseph Robach, R-Greece, Monroe County, sponsored the legislation and praised Cuomo's approval.
"I am glad to see this important piece of legislation that will save countless lives of children under the age of two by requiring that these most vulnerable children are in rear facing car seats become law," Galef said in a statement.
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