What You Need to Know About RV Seat Belt Laws
If you ask your parents or grandparents, depending on your age, they will have all kinds of seat belt stories to tell you. They love sharing stories of how when they were little they used to take turns lying in the back window of the car or about how many people they would squeeze into the back seat. But, things are different now. There are much stricter seat belt laws throughout the country. And, just because you are driving an RV that feels like a house, doesn’t mean that there aren’t RV seat belt laws that you need to follow. Here’s what you need to know:
Not every state is the same
The first thing you need to keep in mind is that not every state is the same. That means it’s important that you know what the state laws are that you are going to be driving in and through. You could be following the laws in one state and then cross the state line and find yourself breaking the seat belt laws. It’s your responsibility to find out what the laws are in all the states that you are going to be traveling in and then to abide by those laws.
A word of RV seat belt caution
Before jumping into the rules for each state, here’s a word of caution. Just because something isn’t illegal, doesn’t mean it’s the best thing to do. There are legitimate safety reasons why the seat belt laws have continued to get more and more strict over the years.
The safest seats to be in are forward facing seats that have the appropriate safety belts. While there are many RVs that have begun to put seat belts in all seats, it doesn’t mean that all seats are the best options to sit in. It may not seem like a big deal to you in the moment, but we can promise that it will if you find your family in the unfortunate situation of being in an accident.
The rules are different for children
Many states have different rules for children than they do for adults when it comes to seat belts. There are only certain seats that car seats should be strapped into and putting them in the wrong places can be dangerous to your child in the event that you are in an accident. For example, child car seats should only be used in forward-facing seats.
You want to make sure that you not only check the laws of the states that you are driving through, but also that you check the recommendations and requirements of the car seat or booster seat that your child will be sitting in.
If you are looking for an alternative and want to make sure that your children are traveling the safest way possible you can consider purchasing a towable RV so your children can be traveling within the vehicle instead of the actual RV. You could also consider having them ride in a secondary car if you have a coach if you will be bringing another one along.
A final option to consider is to have the required seat belts installed within your RV to make travel safer for your children. But, before taking any steps, talk to an RV expert, like those at Sky River, to see what options come standard in the RV that you are purchasing.
States that require everyone to have a seat belt on in the RV
- Washington D.C.
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- Washington state
If the state you are traveling in is not listed here then only those in the driver’s and passenger’s seat are required to wear safety belts. However, remember that there are different laws when it comes to children and you need to make sure your child is properly restrained based on the requirements for each state you will be in. You can find more details on the Safe Ride 4 Kids website.
Better safe than sorry
When it comes to safety, it’s always better to be safe than sorry and wear a seat belt. RV manufacturers have been making a lot of progress in adding safety options, such as seat belts to every seat. Call Sky River RV to find out what the right option is for you.