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What are the car seat laws in New Mexico?

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Things to remember...
  • While most states have child car seat laws, the American Academy of Pediatrics offers additional guidelines that parents are recommended to follow
  • New Mexico’s child car seat laws are fairly lax in comparison to many other states
  • Parents should take every step possible to keep children in their car safe, including buying an effective car insurance policy

Child car seats, including infant seats and booster seats, are designed to keep children safer in the event of an accident or another damaging event on the road. After all, the use of adult seat belts in a vehicle is not protective for small children.

However, with multiple types of car seats, it can be difficult for drivers to determine the best way to use them to protect children in the car.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is one of the leading organizations that parents and others turn to for health and safety guidance and recommendations, and it has issued some guidelines regarding the use of child safety seats.

It states that children should sit in an approved, rear-facing car seat until they are at least two years old. Children should sit in a front-facing car seat when they are under 57 inches tall and less than eight to 12 years old.

As a driver in New Mexico, you should be aware that the state’s law regarding car seat usage is less stringent than the AAP guidelines. 

It is up to drivers to understand the differences between the state law and the AAP guidelines and to determine if they want children in their vehicle to sit in a car seat for longer than the state requires for additional safety.

Even though some children may not enjoy sitting in a rear-facing position or in a car seat at all, drivers should understand the benefits that car seats provide and require their strict use anytime the vehicle is in motion.

Compare car insurance quotes right here to find the best coverage for the best rate. Enter your zip code above to get started.

Car Seat Law for New Mexico

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Whether you are a parent, a legal guardian, or someone else who drives with children in the car on a regular basis, you need to be aware of what New Mexico’s child car seat law states.

In New Mexico, the state law requires all children who are less than 12 months old to sit in a rear-facing infant seat, and this seat should be placed in the backseat of the vehicle when possible.

For children who are between the ages of one and four years old and who are less than 40 pounds, sitting in a front-facing car seat is acceptable.

Children who are five or six years old and who weigh less than 60 pounds should sit in a booster seat. Once a child reaches seven years old and weighs at least 60 pounds, the child may use the adult seat belts in the vehicle.

You can see that the AAP guidelines regarding car seat usage are stricter than the New Mexico legal requirement regulating the minimum usage of car seats in the state.

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Consequences for Breaking the Law

The child car seat law in New Mexico is a primary offense, which means that law enforcement officials do not need to have any other reason for pulling you over except a suspicion that you are violating the child safety seat law.

If you are cited for violating this law, you can expect the following penalties:

  • You will be fined $25 for each offense.
  • You will receive two points on your driving record for each offense.
  • If you have multiple children in the vehicle violating the law at the same time, you may receive points and a fine for each child.

Because this type of violation could affect your driving record, it could potentially lead to an increase in your car insurance rates in New Mexico. Remember that it may take several years for the points to be erased from your record.

Shopping around and comparing rates is a great idea if you have points on your driving record.

Provide for Child Safety Care

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In order for car seats to keep the children in your vehicle as safe as possible, they must be properly installed. You should carefully follow the installation instructions that the car seat manufacturer created, and you can visit an approved check station for a car seat inspection.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has approved check stations in convenient locations throughout the country.

Review Your Car Insurance Policy

You should also be aware of the state’s minimum insurance requirement and about the potential benefits associated with buying extra coverage.

The state’s minimum requirement for coverage is for liability insurance, and this does not pay for any of your own expenses if you are involved in an accident.

You may consider buying comprehensive insurance as well as personal injury protection coverage so that you can get your vehicle repaired and pay for medical bills if you are involved in an accident.

When you are preparing to increase your coverage or if your insurance rates have recently increased because points have been added to your driving record, you may want to shop around to find a better deal on car insurance.

Drivers ideally should compare rates for coverage every six months, and you should consider requesting quotes from at least three or four providers. These providers should have a great reputation for having good customer service and for being financially strong.

Compare car insurance quotes right here by entering your zip code below.

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