According to the National Law, if your truck doesn’t have a back seat area, you can safely install the car seat in the front row as long as the width of the truck seat can support 85% of your child’s car seat and the truck must have a top tether to safely secure the seat for all forward-facing car seats.
Children are mandated to always sit at the back row of any car when they are on board but a single cab truck is a pickup truck with no back row. Do you then have to get another car after childbirth or board another vehicle to transport your baby?
In this article, we’ll see how possible and how safe it is to attach a car seat to a single cab truck.
Can a baby’s car seat be placed in a single cab truck?
Yes. It is safe and accepted by legal authorities to put a baby car seat in a single cab truck but the single cab must be equipped with an on/off key switch for the airbag.
The driver must always ensure that the airbag is turned off whenever the baby car seat is installed and most especially when the baby is on board.
The car seat must also be installed in a rear-facing position as stated by highway authorities and another adult must always be present in the single cab track whenever the child is being transported and the baby seat positioned in the middle.
Factors to consider before you put a car seat in a single cab truck
Authorities have mandated that before transporting a child in a single cab truck, the driver must adhere to the following safety recommendations.
Read your vehicle’s owner manual
The best way to know more about your truck is to read your owner’s manual where the manufacturer of the vehicle provides information about the features designed to accommodate a car seat, what type of car seat can work with your truck, how it can be installed, and if the airbag can be turned off with a key.
These features differ due to some factors like the model, the year of manufacture, the manufacturer, and so on. The most important feature here is the ability to turn off the airbag with a key for the safety of the baby.
The seating arrangement of the truck
Some single cab trucks can permit a driver and two other passengers, while other trucks permit just the driver and the passenger for the ride.
Most trucks that accommodate just a passenger can not accommodate a car seat as the seat may not scale the 80% required surface area.
Most trucks with two passengers alongside the driver can comfortably accommodate a car seat placed in the middle without much worry.
How many people would ride in the single cab truck
Authorities have advised that the driver, the parent, or the caregiver should not ride alone with the child in a single cab truck as trying to drive and at the same time monitor the child on board can destruct the driver and cause a crash.
Another adult should always come along to monitor the baby.
The type of car seat
The three basic car seats for infants and toddlers are rear-facing, forward-facing, and convertible which converts a rear-facing car seat into a forward-facing one.
It is advisable to use a car seat in a single cab truck with children of any age with strict adherence to the specifications of the manufacturer but, as the child grows the car seat to use would change.
Weight and height of the baby
To ensure that your baby’s car seat balances well on the seat in the cab, the manufacturer specifies the height and weight limits in the manual.
It’s best to always refer back to the actual car seat manual to familiarise yourself with the description of the weight and height limit as stated by the manufacturer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you put a car seat in a two-seater truck?
It is alright to put a baby’s car seat in a two-seater truck without a back seat as long as it is in the correct position for the child’s height and weight. The seat has to be age-appropriate and buckled up.
However, you must deactivate the airbags and maybe push the seat as far back as you can because if a child is under 4 foot 9 they can get neck and face lesions from the airbags even in a small crash at low speed.
The front seat is less safe, it is never safe for babies of any given age. But there’s no 100% safe place in the car. The only safest place inside a moving car is in a car that is not crushed.
Can you attach a car seat in a U-Haul?
Most U-Haul trucks are equipped with airbags and may not meet the local requirements for installing car seats. Young babies and those on car seats should not be seated in front of U-Haul equipment.
U-Haul trucks are also not equipped with back seats and many parents and authorities do not consider them safe modes of baby transport but they are equipped with safety belts and airbags making them safe for adults.
Pickup trucks are great vehicles and can be useful when you have children. You just have to check your safety seat to ensure it is installed correctly and in the right position inside the truck.
Ensuring that kids are protected and properly restrained inside a single cab truck can be a challenge but in many areas, there are school districts, hospitals, police, and fire departments, even some baby stores that offer free safety inspections to families.
Be sure to follow these simple guidelines and utilize safercar.gov to find your local car and car seat inspection station to ensure your child is safe while you drive your single cab truck.