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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recorded an unsafe pattern associated with unrestrained drivers and their occupants. Last year, based on known restraint use, when the drivers involved in fatal crashes were unrestrained, 66% of the children traveling in the vehicle were also unrestrained. Of the 23,714 passenger vehicle occupants who were killed in fatal auto collisions throughout the U.S., 826 were children; 38% of whom were unrestrained.
Our Las Vegas car seat laws, booster seat laws, and Nevada seat belt laws are designed to reduce traffic collision injuries and fatalities, helping to save lives on our roadways. At Bertoldo Carter Smith & Cullen, our Las Vegas auto collision attorneys are committed to the Nevada Highway Safety Performance Plan, and their critical emphasis on eliminating the total number of unrestrained vehicle occupants through informative safety education tools that allow us all to travel safely throughout the State of Nevada.
What Are the Nevada Car Seat Laws?
Not only are car seats incredibly important to a child’s safety while traveling in a passenger vehicle, but they are also mandated by our Nevada car seat laws.
According to the child seat safety laws in Nevada, if your child meets the following criteria, they MUST ride in a U.S. Department of Transportation approved child car seat:
- Less than 6 years of age
- Weigh less than 60 pounds
Nevada Car Seat Rules & Best Practices
The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles lists that all children should sit in the backseat until the age of 13. This practice provides a layer of safety, away from the front airbags that can cause severe injuries or even death when they deploy during a collision.
The recommended car seat practices by age include:
- Newborn – 1 year: Infants should always ride in a rear-facing car seat until the child exceeds the car seat manufacturer’s height and weight limits
- 1-3 years old: It is recommended that the child remains in a rear-facing car seat to help ensure their safety. Once they exceed the car seat manufacturer’s height and weight limits, they can transition to a forward-facing car seat with a harness.
As our Nevada child car seat laws evolve with technology and travel habits, safety remains paramount, even as children transition into booster seats.
Nevada Booster Seat Laws & Best Practices
Nevada defines child restraint systems as any device designed for use in a motor vehicle to restrain, seat, or safely position children during travel.
These devices can include:
- Booster seats
- Belt-position seats to accommodate integrated child seats
- Safety belts that adjust specifically to accommodate children
The type of restraint system parents should use are not imposed by car seat booster laws in Nevada, but are dictated by the height and weight of the child, and should be installed and attached securely according to the seat manufacturer instructions.
Booster seat requirements in Nevada, include restraints for children aged:
- 4-7 years old: When children outgrow the harness seat, switch to a belt-positioning booster seat until they are large enough to safely use seat belts in the back seat.
- 8 – 12 years old: When the child’s size and weight allow for a safe transition to seat belt use, the:
- The lap belt should lie across the thighs, not the stomach
- The shoulder belt should not cross the neck or face
Children should remain in the back seat of the vehicle until the age of 13.
Nevada Child Seat Law Exceptions
Nevada’s child restraint law does not apply to those transporting children using public transportation, including a taxi, school bus, or emergency vehicle.
Nevada car seat laws also provide a medical exception to the child restraint law. If a medical care provider determines that the use of a child restraint system is dangerous or impractical to the child’s well-being, the driver does not have to follow the Nevada child restraint requirements.
When the medical exception applies, drivers must carry a signed note from a physician verifying the exemption.
Nevada Car Seat & Booster Seat Resources
If you are unsure if your car seat is properly installed, or if you would like more information on the car seat and booster seat safety, logon to the NHTSA seat check website to get more information or to find a free seat inspector near you.
To ensure your child’s safety going forward, register with the NHTSA to receive recall information about the car seat or booster seat you have or search for recalls that have already been issued.
Nevada Seat Belt Laws
Child safety begins with the driver. Our Nevada seat belt laws are designed to keep vehicle occupants safe from severe injuries should a vehicle collision occur. If the adults in the car are not following safe seat belt practices, they are placing the children riding in the vehicle in danger.
Nevada seat belt laws state that occupants in both the front and rear seats of almost all passenger vehicles must wear seat belts, and children must be in an approved child restraint system.
The State of Nevada Department of Public Safety has implemented a Zero Fatalities program that reiterates the fact that wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of getting seriously injured or dying in a crash by 50%. Last year in Nevada, 52% of the state’s motor vehicle fatalities were individuals who were not buckled up.
What If I Have Been Hurt in a Las Vegas Vehicle Collision?
Seat belts and child restraints are designed to keep drivers and vehicle occupants safe, but even when in use, traffic collisions can cause severe injuries that require long-term medical care.
At Bertoldo Carter Smith & Cullen, our Clark County personal injury lawyers can help you determine the financial recovery you deserve from your injuries, so you can focus on rehabilitation instead of the stress vehicle collisions cause, beginning with scheduling a free consultation by calling (702) 505-8115 today.