Having a child is an awesome, if sometimes terrifying, experience. Making a real effort to keeping them safe at all times, especially while in the car, is imperative. Keeping your child safe while in the car has a lot to do with how they are positioned and restrained while you are driving.
Keep Your Child Rear-Facing as Long as Possible
Rear-facing car seats are the best protection for a child up to about two years of age. You can tell that a child is too old for their rear-facing seat because they will eventually grow out of the chair or become too heavy for the weight requirements. When they outgrow their car seat, they can either be put in a booster seat or, if tall enough, restrained using the seat belts.
Buy New Car Seats, If Possible
Car seats are like bike helmets; they’re great protection in case of an accident, but can only be used to protect a child once if in a serious accident. A serious accident can often break parts of the car seat that are integral to their safety element. Without all parts intact, the car seat will not offer nearly the amount of protection that you want around your child in the event of an accident. Buying a new car seat is always preferable to buying a used one, if you don’t know the used car seat’s history. We wish there were a CARFAX for car seats, but unfortunately, there isn’t such a service.
Install Car Seats Properly
A great car seat will not provide the type of protection to your child if they aren’t installed properly. Since each car seat is different, consult the user’s manual to determine the proper way to install the seat in your car. If you still aren’t sure if your car seat is installed properly, attend a local clinic in New Mexico. You can find more information about car seat programs at Safer New Mexico Now.
Buckling Up and New Mexico Law
Buckling your child up isn’t just safe, it’s required by New Mexico law. New Mexico law requires that each child under 18 be properly restrained with a car seat, booster seat or seat belt, depending on their height and weight. If you, or your child, is unrestrained in a moving vehicle, a police officer can issue you a citation for $25. Additionally, each citation for a seat belt violation can add two points to your driver’s license. If you collect more than 12 points on your license within a year, your license can be suspended for a year.
Got a Ticket?
If you have received a citation for driving while you or a passenger was unrestrained in your vehicle, you can pay the ticket here at MVD Express. You can count on us to give you fast and friendly service to get you in, done and on your way as quickly as possible. Stop in to any convenient location around New Mexico. We’ll see you soon!