When I was a kid, my sisters and I had some pretty heated disputes over who would sit in the front seat. I recall one day when I yelled shotgun and dove in through the open car window into the front seat. In my mind, I deserved to sit in the front seat because I was the oldest. Even though that was a silly move, it turns out I was partially right. These days, primarily due to airbags, the CDC recommends that all children aged 12 and under ride properly buckled in the back seat.
Air bags have saved many lives, but they can be deadly to children in the front seat. The force is just more than young kids’ bodies can handle. It might seem tempting to let your kiddo ride up front, but if your car has airbags, please think twice. Most importantly, never place a rear-facing car seat in the front seat or in front of an airbag.
My son recently turned 13 and he now enjoys riding up front. My daughter was pretty jealous at first until I explained the safety aspects to her. Now she happily rides in the backseat.
For more information on keeping kids safe in the car, visit SaferCar.gov.
Thank you Toyota for supporting this post on front seat safety. They let me drive this Highlander for a week while my son enjoyed his first week as a 13 year old in the front seat! If you have not had a chance to drive a Highlander, go do it. I loved this SUV which is powerful, beautiful, and elegant.