Sadly, 408 people lost their lives in those crashes, and thousands more were severely injured.
At the Law Office of Samuel I. Kane P.A., our Las Cruces auto accident attorneys know that when negligence plays a role in traffic collisions, people get hurt or even killed, which is why we strive to provide the educational resources our Dona Ana County residents need to stay safe while traveling in their vehicles.
To follow is a simple guide to our New Mexico car seat, booster seat, and seat belt laws to help keep our communities safe, because even with our reliance on technology, including safer cars and airbags, wearing a seat belt during a crash increases the survival rate of the vehicle occupants by 50%.
How Long Do Children Have to Ride in Car Seats in New Mexico?
The safest place for a child to ride in any car is in a back seat, properly buckled into a properly fitting child safety seat.
According to the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Department, all children must ride in a child safety seat until their seventh birthday, no matter their weight.
Likewise, all children weighing less than 60 pounds must ride in a child safety seat, no matter how old they are.
Additional New Mexico child car seat laws include:
- All children must remain in rear-facing car seats until they are at least one year of age and weigh at least 20 pounds.
- It is recommended that all children remain in rear-facing car seats until they weigh at least 35 pounds, but it is not the law.
- Children can be moved to forward-facing car seats with a harness when they reach the height and weight requirements outlined on the model they will be riding in, which often differs from 40-60 pounds, depending on the manufacturer.
How Long Do Children Have to Ride in Booster Seats in New Mexico?
Not unlike car seats, booster seats have very specific height and weight requirements that must be followed to ensure the proper safety of the child who is riding in the vehicle.
Safety regulations suggest that all children, regardless of age, should ride in the booster seat.
New Mexico booster seat laws require:
- All children ages seven to 12 must ride in a booster seat until they fit properly into a seat belt restraint.
- Booster seats cannot be used with a lap belt alone; they must be used with both lap and shoulder belts.
What is the Seat Belt Law in New Mexico?
In the State of New Mexico, all passengers — whether they are riding in the front or back seats — must wear a seat belt while the vehicle is moving.
If the vehicle is stopped for a traffic violation, and the occupants are not properly restrained, the officer can issue a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt tickets.
What if I Have Been Hurt in a Las Cruces Car Accident?
While New Mexico car seats, booster seats, and seat belts save lives, negligent drivers continue to cause severe injuries to others on our roadways, and the surprise nature of these accidents can be catastrophic to your physical, emotional, and financial well-being.
If you have been hurt in a car accident in Las Cruces, contact our Las Cruces personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Samuel I. Kane, P.C., today at (575) 541-3004 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how our auto accident lawyers can help you pursue the negligent driver who caused our injuries for the financial compensation you deserve.