No one ever wants to be involved in an automobile accident. But if your vehicle is hit by a negligent driver, you want to know that you did everything you could to keep yourself and your family safe. One important way to do this is to follow Nevada’s seat belt and child restraint laws every time you and your family gets into a vehicle.
What Is Nevada’s Seat Belt Law?
There is no question that seat belts reduce fatalities and serious injuries in car accidents. Under Nevada law, the driver and all occupants of a passenger vehicle are required to use seat belts unless they are children who must ride in an approved child restraint system. Vehicles manufactured in 1970 or later must have both lap belts and shoulder belts in the front seat. You can keep yourself and your children safe by insisting that all passengers wear a seat belt every time they get into your car—or a friend’s or family member’s vehicle.
Nevada’s Child Restraint Law
Any child under the age of six and weighing less than 60 pounds must ride in a child restraint system approved by the United States Department of Transportation. However, Nevada’s Department of Motor Vehicles recommends that parents keep children in the back seat until they are at least 12 years old and follow these guidelines in selecting a child restraint system:
- Birth-12 months. Infants should be placed in a rear-facing car seat through age one or until they reach the manufacturer’s height and weight limits.
- 1–3 years. Once your child has outgrown his rear-facing car seat, he should be placed in a forward-facing toddler seat with a harness until he outgrows it based on manufacturer recommendations.
- 4–7 years. Once your child is too big for his toddler seat, he should sit in a booster seat until he is large enough to use a seat belt only.
- 8-12 years. Your child should use a seat belt at all times. Be certain that it fits properly. The lap belt should fit across his thighs, not his stomach, and the shoulder strap should not cross his neck or face.
While it is great to use a child restraint system, you need to be certain that it is installed properly to maximize its protection for your child. According to Nevada’s Department of Motor Vehicles, seven out of ten child car seats are installed improperly. Nevada offers free advice and help in installing child car seats. You can call 866-SEAT-CHECK or visit seatcheck.org to locate an inspection site near you.