I learned something new today. Seat belts for passengers in the back seat or in an RV are not required in Iowa. The question was asked of a state trooper in the Dickinson County News as to whether or not someone could ride in a towed trailer or 5th wheel. The law did not prohibit it, though children under 18 must wear a seat belt at all times. Of course, the trooper did not advise it.
This article made me curious about laws in other states. Do all allow people in the back seat or in an RV to ride without seat belts? The answer is no - more than half do. I found a website on seat belt laws. As of March 2010, 24 states and the District of Columbia require seat belt use in all seating positions, including the back seats. Twenty-six states have laws that allow back seat passengers to travel without a seat belt. In some states passengers 7 years of age and older can ride without seat belts!
Remember the scene in "The Long, Long Trailer" where Lucy is cooking dinner as Rick bounces down the road and goes up and over a mountain and the rocks she had hidden are rolling all around? This should give you a clue why it's not a good idea to ride back there!
What is required by law and what is safe are two different things. Passengers in a motorhome should wear seat belts for safety's sake. An accident, mechanical or tire problem or a quick stop could send unbelted passengers flying. And, it's just not a good idea to ride in a towed vehicle either. They don't come with seat belts and you could become a projectile in there too. And, there is the added danger - though probably slight - that the trailer could break off from the tow vehicle if it's not secured properly or there is a defect in the hitch or where you attach the safety chains. We have RV friends who watched their toad (towed car) fly past them going down a hill on the Top of the World Highway! The installer had set it up so the chains were attached to the bumper of their RV rather than to the frame so it broke loose under stress. Fortunately a tree stopped their jeep from rolling all the way to the bottom and they were able to retrieve it. Think of the momentum of a trailer that broke loose!
Wear your seat belts wherever you sit. Jaimie Hall Bruzenak