Sleeping in a car is normal, but lying down to sleep in a moving car is not normal. The overall safety system in vehicles is designed for passengers sitting upright and not those lying down. For some reason, some people need to lie down while traveling in a car; are there special seat belts for this?
There are seat belts for sleeping in the car, but you most likely won’t be allowed to use them. If you can explain why it’s necessary to get one for yourself or your kid, you may be allowed to use one with appropriate licenses.
In this article, you’ll learn all the essential safety tips for lying down in a sleeping vehicle. You’ll learn when it is possible and the required safety standards to make the practice both legal and safe.
Is It Safe to Lay Down In the Backseat of a Car?
Depending on your motive for laying down in the backseat of a car, it can be either safe or unsafe. While there are many scenarios where this action might be unsafe, the only safe scenario is when the car isn’t moving.
If you’re laying down in the back seat of a moving car, however, you’ll be at risk of too many serious injuries. In the event of an accident, the seat belts and all other safety systems in a car will only work to protect a sitting passenger.
While it’s generally unsafe to ride in the backseat of a car while laying down, there are specific restraint systems that can make the process somewhat safer. While you can’t achieve the same level of safety as a sitting passenger, being a bit safer feels good.
To set up a relatively safe restraint system, the vehicle must be relatively large. Also, all the seats apart from the driver’s row must be removed to create a safe space for the system.
A good alternative to a manual restraint system for riding in a car while laying down is a ready-made restraint system for kids. If you have a kid that isn’t comfortable with using a car seat, you can get a restraint vest that will enable them to sleep safely in the car.
The last option for sleeping in the backseat of a car is requesting the manufacturer to create a very specific model for your needs. This will be considerably safer than a restraint vest while providing even more convenience and safety features.
To use a custom-built car for any reason, you may need to get a license for it. It might help to have a talk with your local authorities about the possibilities of making that happen before dropping the money for a custom car build.
Are There Seat Belts for Lying Down In Car?
There are seat belt extenders that can make it possible to fasten your seat belt while lying down in a car. However, most of these items are probably illegal in your state, and they’re unable to provide similar levels of safety as your car’s dedicated setup.
However, there are special vests with buckles that can help you keep a child restrained while they lay down in a moving car. While this should only be used when necessary, it’s better than letting the child sleep without any form of protection.
One downside is that you may need explicit permission to use any of those vests. They’re not made for casual use, and you may have to explain why it’s necessary to get the vest. If you can, your child can sleep safely behind the vehicle, to a certain extent.
Is It Illegal to Lay Down In the Backseat of a Car?
You might have heard that there are no legislations forbidding sleeping in the car, as long as you found some way to install your seatbelts. While that is naturally hard to believe, is it illegal to lay down in the backseat of a moving vehicle?
The only scenario when it can be legal to lay down in the backseat of your car is when you’re seating upright and wearing your seatbelts correctly. Since this is technically not “lying down,” it doesn’t make lying down in a sleeping car legal.
If you’re driving in the United States, the laws regarding this vary. Most states will require you to wear a seatbelt, regardless of your location in the vehicle. If you’re in any of these states, you must find a way to wear the belts correctly while you lie down in a car.
States that require you to wear seatbelts while riding in the back of a vehicle usually specify that you must wear it “properly.” Properly in this context usually refers to how the manufacturer recommended passengers to wear the belt.
If your car’s manual shows a hypothetical passenger using a seatbelt while sitting straight up, you may be charged with “improperly wearing the seatbelt” if you wear it otherwise. Summarily, don’t attempt wearing the seatbelt in a sleeping position unless you have a custom car build.
For states that don’t necessitate seat belts for passengers sitting in the back seat, it’s usually easier to get away with lying in the back seat of your car.
Either way, you should only do it when there are no other options. Safety takes precedence over any government regulations and everything we know today indicates that it’s very unsafe to use a seat belt while sleeping in your car.
What are the Most Dangerous Positions in a Vehicle?
While there may be hundreds of potentially hazardous sitting positions in a car, there is only one safe position: the way it was designed to be used. Sitting or lying in any other way will compromise your safety and that of others in the vehicle.
Reclining on any seat with your legs in an unnatural position is just as unsafe as lying down in the back seat of your car. Any accident can lead to horrific injuries, which can be easily avoided by sitting and using your seatbelts properly.