Can You Put a CarSeat In A Single Cab Truck?

(Last Updated On: February 13, 2023)

Many people believe it is impossible or against the law to put a car seat in a single cab truck, and they ask if can you put a carseat in a single cab truck.

But things could be the opposite. A car seat installation procedure could differ depending on your vehicle type.

It is possible to install a car seat in a single cab truck, but you must recognize safety measures.

For your child’s safety, installing a car seat in the back of the vehicle is highly recommended. But installation in the front can be done by following safety instructions.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, “you legally can put a car seat in the front seat of a single cab truck as long as the width of the truck seat/bench can support 85% of the child’s car seat.

However, for safety reasons, you should avoid rear-facing car seats since those will be hazardous when airbags deploy.

When installing forward-facing car seats, the truck must have a top tether to secure the seat safely.”

Can A Child Ride In The Front Seat Of The Truck?

Can You Put a Car Seat In A Single Cab Truck?

Child safety comes first and here parents seem worried that can you put a carseat in a single cab truck. In the united states, single-cab truck sales have increased.

A study shows that women prefer to travel in a single cab truck instead of driving a traditional mom minivan. 

Single cab truck has multifunction, and they also raise questions and concerns of mom on how they can travel safely with their babies in single cab truck.

And how they can install a car seat in a truck.

In many states, children are forbidden to ride in the front seat. For parents’ safety of their child, one is on top.

That’s why it is one of the significant concerns that a child can ride in front of a single cab truck. And the answer to this question is YES.

Easy Way To Install A Car Seat In A Single Cab Truck

Can You Put a Car Seat In A Single Cab Truck?

There are different types of trucks, like Regular, Extended, and Crew. Extended truck types provide more space behind the row than regular or crew types.

You need to follow the instructions written in the manual carefully. Remember to turn off the airbags when installing Rare-facing car seats.

Installing a car seat can be tricky but we provide you with complete information that how can you put a carseat in a single cab truck It would be best if you use a top tether to install a front-facing car seat.

They are designed in such a way as to protect the car seat moving forward in case of a car crash.

Even after following all the steps given in the manual, there is a chance you have missed a step. A study shows that 60% of all car seats must be installed correctly.

Always get your seat double-checked by a CPST (Certified Passenger Safety Technician) because car seat installation is tricky. So after installation, you must visit your nearest inspection point. 

Locate The Tether Restraint Hardware

Finding a tether anchor in your single-cab truck can be confusing. In some cab trucks, you need to bend forward your car seat to locate an anchor on the wall behind your car seats.

If you cannot find a tether, a detailed manual comes along with your vehicle that will help you find child restraint attachment.

Once you have access to your truck’s tether system, you can begin installing it as per your seat’s instructions.

Turn Off The Front Passenger Airbag.

They design vehicles in a way that they can detect the presence of a child in the front seat and can automatically deactivate the airbags.

If your vehicle supports this feature, you will find a passenger airbag light on your dashboard or screen.

At the same time, other vehicles provide a button that allows you to manually switch between on and off. Turning off your vehicle’s airbag system if your child is riding in the front seat is crucial.

Opening an airbag in case of a car crash can cause severe injury to your baby. It is a foolish act to use an active airbag for your child’s car seat.

Related: How To Keep Baby Cool In Car Seat?

Where Is The Tether Anchor In My Truck

Can You Put a Car Seat In A Single Cab Truck?

To fix a car seat in your single cab truck, you need to find a tether anchor in your truck.

Read your truck manual, or typically tether anchors are fixed right behind the back seat of your truck. But there are other locations below where you can find tether anchor points.

Behind The Seat

Usually, tether points are fixed behind the seat of your truck. Bend down the seat, and you’ll find the anchor point. You can now install a car seat in your truck.

To ensure the safety of your child, remember to inspect your truck. A CPST can inspect your car or truck for safety purposes.

Webbing Link

Some trucks do not support behind-the-seat anchors and use webbing loops instead. You can easily find them on the headrest of your truck seat.

To use the webbing loops, fix the seat tether via the loop behind the headrest and join the anchor point to the webbing loop. Remove the slack without tightening. 

Behind The Seat Loops

Such loops are different from other tether anchors. You need to consult your truck manual to install a car seat with behind-the-seat loops.

Once your child’s seat is installed, we recommend you find your local CPST to check whether the seat is installed properly or not.

Checklist For Installing A Car Seat In A Single Cab Truck

Can You Put a Car Seat In A Single Cab Truck

It is highly recommended to install a car seat at the rear seating space of your cab vehicle.

And parents ask if can you put a carseat in a single cab truck. But if you have a single cab truck, you can not install it in the rear seating space.

At the same time, some state laws have an exception for those who have a single cab truck, and they recommend that the car seat be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions given in the manual that comes with a baby car seat.

Some of the essential points you must remember while installing a car seat, specifically in a cab truck, are briefly described below.

  • Condition of the airbag
  • Space, Size, and Seat
  • Installation Features (that provide your car)
  • State Car seat law
  • Reading vehicle owner manual instructions
  • Make a year of your cab truck

Keep these factors in your mind during installation. Once these factors are fulfilled, you can install a car seat in a single cab truck or download an inspection checklist here.

When you feel your child is grown enough for rear-facing or front-facing car seats, it is the right time to use a high-back or backless booster.

But it would be best to ensure that front airbags are not active.

Condition Of The Bag


The basic need for an airbag is to protect the passenger in the case of a car crash. In the case of a child, the condition is quite the opposite because a car seat accommodates a child.

Children at a young age do not have fully developed skeletal systems to protect them from the pressure an airbag applies.

The opening of the airbag hits the back of the rear-facing seat where your child’s head is placed.

Opening an airbag applies pressure up to 160mph, and your child cannot bear this pressure; in such cases, a severe injury can happen or eventually death.

That’s why it is wise to switch off your airbag while installing a car seat for your baby.

Space, Size, And Seat 

As the name specifies, a single cab truck does not have rear seats; however, an extended cab truck allows a little space on the back with two small seats, and the extended one has fully grown rear seats and a door.

But our main focus is something other than an extended cab truck.

Here are some measurements of an average truck seat from ResearchGate 46.2cm, 48.3cm, and 52.4cm. And the Length of an average car seat is 22.6in, which means your cab truck seat must measure around 18.89 inches in width to fulfill the condition.

For accurate car seat dimensions, look at your car seat manual.

Installation Features

You need to make sure that your truck is equipped with mentioned necessary features to install your car seat

  • Top tether anchor
  • Combination of lap and shoulder belt
  • Bottom anchor

 If you are unable to fix the car seat because your cab truck seat has no top anchor, then you must use a rear-facing seat for your child 

Make Year Of Your Cab Truck

The next point you need to consider for installing a car seat is the make year or model of your cab truck. A front-facing car seat is considered safe only with a top tether anchor. 

Some senior models of single-cab trucks, such as the 00nisan frontier, 1998 ford ranger, ’97 Chevy S10, and 99 F-150, are not equipped with top tether anchors. You have to buy the anchor to install a car seat. 

This is the factor you need to consider greatly. Making the year of your car helps you a lot regarding how can you put a carseat in a single cab truck.

Reading Vehicle Owner Manual Instructions

Your vehicle owner manual helps you install a car seat in your single cab truck. Each truck has a different model or make year and comes with specific options.

In the vehicle manual, you’ll find every portion of the car seat installation in the cab truck. Please NOTE you can not install car eats with a single lap belt, and the middle seat is not recommended location.

State Car Seat Law

Some states have exceptions for parents who have single-cab trucks. While at the same time state of Colorado makes a prominent statement on “no exemptions.”. End of the discussion, if your vehicle’s manual says it is safe to fix a car seat in a single cab truck, then the ultimate factor is state law, whether your state law allows you or not.

Colorado state law clearly says that children under one year and weighing under 20 pounds must ride in the rear seat; there are no exemptions. If your child is above one or weighs more than 20 pounds, he can ride in the front seat.

Read More: Are Heated Seats Worth It?

What Are Other Types Of Cab Trucks?

Can You Put a Car Seat In A Single Cab Truck4

 People use different names for different types of cab trucks. The term cab is used for your truck’s space in its cabin. Let’s not make it complicated; some types of cab trucks are given below.

Single Cab Truck

Single or regular cab trucks have only a single space for seating and a single pair of doors.

Extended Cab Truck

The extended-type cab truck has a pair of rows for seating (an extra room behind the front seats). It is also called a double cab pickup. 

Crew Cab Truck

Crew cab trucks come with two rows of seating and a pair of doors (four total doors). Crew cab trucks can accommodate five to six people. They were first manufactured in the late 1950s.

As mentioned above, each type has a different rule for installing a car seat in the cab. This article is written to give you an idea of different types of cabs, but our primary focus is on installing a car seat.

Related: How To Prevent Car Seat Marks On Leather?

Child Seat Belt Laws For Cab Trucks

Can You Put a Car Seat In A Single Cab Truck4

You also consider child seat belt laws whenever you consider that can you put a carseat in a single cab truck. In most states, children are advised to travel in the back seat of a car or cab truck. And for the back seat, children must be safely seated in a booster seat according to their age.

A big issue is that most cab trucks do not come with back seat space and need to be more secure for child travel.

Parents are always concerned about their child’s safety first, especially when it comes to their younger children. Some tips are mentioned below for the safe transportation of a child.

Rear Seat

If you have a full-sized pick-up cab or truck, there are rear seats where you can easily install a car seat or booster seat for the safe traveling of your child. The modern trucks from 2003 come with an already installed LATCH system. This system makes it easy to safely install a car seat in a truck.

But if you have a single cab truck, you may face difficulty installing a car seat for your child. The car seat is hazardous if it is not attached correctly or hanging over the truck seat. It is said that 80-100% of the car seat’s bottom is in direct contact with the truck seat. 

In smaller cab trucks, there is less possibility of having a rear seat. The best advice is to check the vehicle manual that comes along with your vehicle.

Front Seat

No problem; if your vehicle has no rare seat option, you can easily install a forward-facing car seat. Before installing a front-facing car seat, ensure that your airbags are easily disabled. A study shows that active airbags may cause severe injury to your children.

The death rate of a child is increased by up to 30% by traveling in the front seat of a car or truck in the case of an accident.

Side Seats

Side seats are considered a significant threat to children’s travel, whether in a car seat or truck. These seats don’t allow enough space to install a car seat safely.

When an accident happens, the passengers using side seats are mostly injured not from the initial hit but from propelling against the interior of your cab truck.

Is It Legal To Install A Car Seat In A Single-Cab Truck?

Can You Put a Car Seat In A Single Cab Truck

All ages of children are allowed to travel in the front seat unless or until they are seated in a child group. And it is a good thing that in all 50 states of the USA, no law objects to the installation of a car seat in single cab trucks.

Anyhow there are some safety measures described, and you must follow them whenever you think that can you put a carseat in a single cab truck.

According to U.S. national law, the requirements for using a car seat in a single cab truck are:

  • The width of the passenger seat must support 85% of the child’s car seat.
  • The seat must be installed using a top tether for forward-facing car seats. 
  • A child must be in a car seat appropriate for height and weight.
  • A child can only sit in the front seat when there is no appropriate rear seat.
  • You must use the vehicle’s LATCH system or shoulder belt to install the seat correctly.
  • Additionally, stricter statutes add to the existing national laws in some states.

What Does The Law Say About Carseat And Trucks?

Can You Put a Car Seat In A Single Cab Truck

There is no doubt that the back seat is the safest seat for your child, and we all know every vehicle doesn’t have a back seat. In this regard, the law facilitates the citizens, saying, “if your child’s seat is incompatible with the back seat of your truck, or your truck doesn’t have a back seat area, you can safely install their car seat in the front row.”

All that we need to keep in mind one rule that the car seat should not be installed in front of an active airbag in the cab truck because your child could be at the more risk of harm

State laws of Arizona, Florida, Texas, and Indiana also say that the best and the safest seat for the child till the age of 16 is the back seat.

At the same time, the law of Indiana says that children at the age of 8 should also use a rear, forward, or booster child seat. No law objects your child to traveling in a front seat until it is safe.

Laws of many states make it easy that can you put a carseat in a single cab truck.

Safety Protocols To Install A Car Seat In A Single Cab Truck

Can You Put a Car Seat In A Single Cab Truck

Sometimes we forget that if something is legally allowed, that could be unsafe too. We must pay attention to the safety protocol whatsoever happen.

If you feel that the car seat you are using for your child is not adjusting correctly in your cab truck or vehicle or that your child has outgrown it, replace it as soon as possible.

It does not matter what vehicle you are using; what matters is that your car seat is installed correctly and adjusted for your growing child, and for this, you need to check it regularly. Many organizations offer this service free of cost, like fire departments, police departments, your nearby automobile shop or garage, etc.

Safety protocols say that a child must travel in the back seat of a vehicle unless they reach the age of 12. In fact, “The American Academy of Pediatrics officially recommends that all children younger than 13 years old ride in the back seats of vehicles.”

Some vehicles do not fulfill the above criteria, and in that case, you must use some alternate mode of transportation. So, some trucks are not considered safe for car seat installation.

AAP says, “one of the best practices for car seat usage is to use your child’s rear-facing car seat as long as possible and then switch to rear-facing in a convertible car seat until the height, and weight limits for that seat have been exceeded.

This works out to be around the age of 4.” Safety always comes first and consider safety protocols whenever you ask if can you put a carseat in a single cab truck.

For Children above 4, you must use the front-facing seat, and the top tether must be fastened securely. This tether also plays a vital role in preventing whiplash, head, and other neck injuries.

Read the manual carefully to locate your vehicle’s tether loop; otherwise, you can visit the nearest certified car seat inspection point for assistance.

Concluding Thought

You know well whether can you put a carseat in a single cab truck or not. And a lot of people need clarification on whether it is allowed to have a car seat in a cab truck or not.

But you must follow the safety protocols. No law restrains the traveling of a child in a single-cab truck; however, in some cases, it is not safe.

For instance, in the state of Colorado, there is no exception. A child must travel in the rear seat from 0 to 1 year.

A child must travel in a seat appropriate for them according to their size and age. No doubt, the safest way for a child’s travel is the rear seat of a vehicle. It is also legal for children to travel in front of a single-cab truck. If and only if the required conditions are met.

Some vehicles do not allow you to install a car seat in the front row. If you can’t travel with your child at that specific, you must use another mode of transportation. Otherwise, the results could be dangerous, like neck or head injury.

You cannot neglect safety protocols. Once you’re done with the installation, always get your car’s inspection by CPST. You can locate the nearest CPST via the local directory or the internet. And the airbags should be inactivated.

FAQs | Can You Put a CarSeat In A Single Cab Truck?

Can A Baby Travel In A Single Cab Truck In The USA?

Yes. The laws of different states of the US allow a baby to travel in a single cab truck unless or until your vehicle meets the safety protocols.

Is It Legal To Put A Baby Seat In A Cab Truck?

The best and safest seat for your baby’s travel is rare, but if your vehicle doesn’t support this, you can install a baby seat in your car. Permanently inactivate the airbags whenever you’re installing a front car seat.

How Can I Install A Seat In A Single Cab Truck?

You must read the instructions to install a car seat in a single cab truck. Pay attention to the information about the vehicle’s seat belt system. Always go for an inspection after the installation of the car seat.

Can I Put An Infant Car Seat In A Single-Cab Truck?

Obviously, you can put an infant car seat in your single cab truck on the given terms: the vehicle has a switch to turn off the airbag, don’t depend on a sensor; there must be a top tether anchor for a front-facing car seat: your state laws must have no objections on the front-facing car seat.