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Hi ladies! Our regular family car (the one that I drive) is a Suburban, and my children never ride in any other vehicle, BUT, I was wondering if my five-year-old could ride in my husband's truck in an emergency situation. He has a little Dodge Dakota Sport with only one bench seat. It doesn't seem safe for a child to ride in that vehicle to me, but I don't know how safe/unsafe it really would be. The passenger side air bag can be turned off, but I still don't know if it would be okay for our daughter to ride in a car seat in his truck.
Currently, in our Suburban, she's in a convertible seat in a 5 point harness. I think that seat might be too big for the Dodge. Could she ride in a booster seat in the Dodge (if she could ride in it at all)? She is 46 inches tall and weighs 42 pounds.
My 20 month old rides rear facing in my mom's Dakota Sport on occasion. Check the manual and see what it says because it may depend on the year but my Mom's truck has LATCH and said it was safe with the air bag turned off.
As long as the air bag can be turned off, and is turned off when the child is riding, it is ok. Is it the most ideal situation? Probably not, but in an emergency and with the air bag off, I wouldn't hesitate.