Seat belt precautions
Take the following precautions when using seat belts.
Infant or small child
All 50 states have child restraint laws. You should be aware of the specific requirements in your state. Child and/or infant seats must be properly placed and installed in the rear seat. For more information about the use of these restraints, refer to More Details.
Small children are best protected from injury in an accident when properly restrained in the rear seat by a child restraint system that meets the requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Before buying any child restraint system, make sure that it has a label certifying that it meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213. The restraint must be appropriate for your child's height and weight. Check the label on the child restraint for this information. Refer to More Details.
Children who are too large for child restraint systems should always occupy the rear seat and use the available lap/shoulder belts. The lap portion should be fastened and snug on the hips as low as possible. Check periodically to insure that the belt fits. A child's squirming could put the belt out of position. Children are given the most safety in the event of an accident when they are restrained by a proper restraint system in the rear seat. If a larger child (over age 13) must be seated in the front seat, the child should be securely restrained by the available lap/shoulder belt and the seat should be placed in the rearmost position. Children age 13 and under should be restrained securely in the rear seat. NEVER place a child age 13 and under in the front seat. NEVER place a rear facing child seat in the front seat of a vehicle.
If the shoulder belt portion slightly touches the child's neck or face, try placing the child closer to the center of the vehicle. If the shoulder belt still touches their face or neck they need to be returned to a child restraint system.
Do not allow small children to ride in the vehicle without an appropriate child restraint system. If the shoulder belt comes in contact with your child's neck or face, your child is too small to ride in the vehicle. In a crash the seat belt will inflict injury to your child's neck, throat and face.
Restraint of pregnant women
Pregnant women should wear lap/shoulder belt assemblies whenever possible according to specific recommendations by their doctors. The lap portion of the belt should be worn AS SECURELY AND LOW AS POSSIBLE.
Pregnant women must never place the lap portion of the seat belt above or on the abdomen where the fetus is located. The force of the seat belt during a collision will crush the fetus.
A seat belt should be used when an injured person is being transported. When this is necessary, you should consult a physician for recommendations.
One person per belt
Two people (including children) should never attempt to use a single seat belt. This could increase the severity of injuries in case of an accident.
Do not lie down
To reduce the chance of injuries in the event of an accident and to achieve maximum effectiveness of the restraint system, all passengers should be sitting up and the front and rear seats should be in an upright position when the vehicle is moving. A seat belt cannot provide proper protection if the person is lying down in the rear seat or if the front and rear seats are in a reclined position.