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Strict laws for child safety seats in New Mexico

Since drunk driving or negligent driving cases are common events, lawmakers in New Mexico have made some strict laws for people who drive with children. New Mexico law requires parents or guardians to place their children in child safety seats. The law mandates that every child up to age 7, or below 60 pounds, should be in a car seat.

Various types of child safety seats are available for parents to choose, including ones for different age groups and weights. The law states that children between the ages of 1 to 2-years-old should be driven in rear-facing car seats. This position helps support the child's head and neck and, in case of a car collision, spreads energy across the entire body.

When a child grows a little older, forward-facing child safety seats are a better option. Adjustable straps provide extra protection and spread crash energy across shoulders, hips and chest. Until a child reaches a specific height or weight, he or she should be riding in the forward-facing seat with a harness.

A booster car seat is comfortable for older children and helps the child achieve the proper fit for the car's shoulder and hip restraint. Children should keep riding in booster seats until both lap and shoulder belts fit correctly. Children who have outgrown car seats should not be driven without seat belts. The lap belt should safely grips the child's upper thigh and hip, and the shoulder belt is snug across the shoulder and chest.

New Mexico law states that all occupants of a car, truck or van should be properly restrained in their seats or a$25 fine can be imposed for non-compliance. Car accidents can inflict serious injury and can also cause irreparable damages. The right child safety seat can save a child's life.

A victim or the parents of a child victim of car crash who has sustained catastrophic injuries even after following all state safety rules may be entitled to file suit against the negligent driver. Before deciding if a lawsuit is the right course of action, it would be prudent to seek advice from a car accident attorney in order to receive fair compensation for damages and expenses.

Source: SaferNM.org," Child safety seat basics," accessed on March 5, 2015

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