Today we delve into two recent motor vehicle safety announcements in the State of Nevada. First, we will discuss recent changes in Nevada regarding child car seat safety laws. This is important for all parents or day care workers that drive infants, as these laws were adopted to protect children in Nevada. Next, we’ll look at how the impact of Nevada’s first NFL team will effect the roadways in the Las Vegas area. While the opening of the Allegiant Stadium where the Raiders are playing is exciting, it also brings many challenges including changes in traffic patterns, distracted driving, and driving under the influence.
Car Seat Safety Standards
While many Nevadans have been distracted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, or the inaugural season of the Las Vegas Raiders, it is important to note that the Nevada Department of Transportation and the U.S Department of Transportation’s Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are making changes to help keep children safe in motor vehicles.  These new rules require parents to keep children in rear-facing seats in accordance with the height and weight limits given on the car seat’s sticker. They also advise parents to keep children in rear-facing seats until the child turns two, although the law allows a switch to forward-facing seats after a child’s first birthday.
While car seat safety may not be the top priority for many, road injuries are the leading cause of death and injuries to children in the United States , the correct use of car seats can reduce the chance of a child’s death by more than 71%. Incorrect installation of a car seat can potentially be even more dangerous then a defective baby car seat. Here are further tips for Nevadans to keep their children safe in motor vehicles by installing the equipment correctly:
- Buying the right car seat: Your baby needs to ride in a rear-facing car seat until the age of one, however the NHTSA recommends till the age of two. When your child has outgrown that seat, you are ready for a forward-facing car seat. Try familiarizing yourself with the different types of car seats and ensuring your child’s weight and height matches the restrictions.
- Installing your car seat. Yu will need to decide on using either the seat belt or lower anchors to secure your car seat. Both are safe, but don’t use them both at the same time. Once your child is forward facing, it is important to use the tether with the seat belt or lower anchors. If unsure on installation, either call the company that manufactures the seat or get help from a car seat expert.
- Placing of Seat. The safest place for your child’s car seat is the back seat, away from active air bags. If the car seat is placed in the front seat and the air bag inflates, it could hit the back of a rear-facing car seat — right where your child’s head is — and cause a serious or fatal injury. If it’s necessary for a child to travel in a vehicle such as a pickup truck that has only one row of seats, deactivate the front air bags or install a power switch to prevent air bag deployment during a crash. 
Allegiant Stadium Brings Traffic Concerns in Southern Nevada
Although sports took an unprecedented hiatus in May due to the Covid-19 pandemic and many leagues remained uncertain about their future, the NFL began its 2020-2021 season mid-September. This restart was extra personal for many Nevadans, especially southern Nevadans, who were excited for the debut of Nevada’s first professional football team, the Las Vegas Raiders.The New Allegiant Stadium has brought spectators from near and far to the Southern Nevada region, changing the dynamics and the number of people in the area. To begin, the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) worries that the new stadium can spark drivers’ curiosity, especially when lit at night, and cause car accidents.  Additionally, new traffic patterns in the area, as well as increased pedestrians can be unfamiliar to many drivers and can result in motor vehicle and pedestrian collisions. A Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles’ spokesperson stated that “Increased traffic, along with the stadium itself, they say, may cause drivers to stop suddenly and drift into other lanes.” She cautioned drivers to stay alert and revealed that the Las Vegas Raiders and NDOT were working together to create new traffic patterns, especially on game day. Stadium officials also urged fans to not stop or slow down near the stadium, and further explained that the stadium is completely enclosed, so it is impossible to see game action from the outside.  Those driving on I-15 and Dean Martin Drive are cautioned against exhibiting erratic or fan-like behavior, and it is advised to avoid the area unless completely necessary on game days. Finally, if you are watching a game at a bar or restaurant, and have consumed alcohol, do not drive drunk; instead, find a sober friend or family member to take you home. If no one with you is fit to drive, call a taxi or take a ride sharing service like Uber or Lyft home.
In conclusions, while it is exciting that Southern Nevada is getting its first NFL team, and confusion and chaos still surrounds the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for Nevadans to stay safe on the road. Taking simple steps like keeping your child in a proper car seat or paying attention while driving in heavy or unfamiliar traffic areas can prevent motor vehicle accident and save lives.
Image Credit: JediRich, Creative Producer