How can neglecting child safety in the car trigger danger on the road?
Traveling with kids is often a chore for the parents and the children no matter how long the drive is. Apart from providing them enough attention and care during a long drive, all parents have the additional responsibility of keeping their kids safe during the drive. Driving on unknown roads and unpredictable weather conditions can increase the stress of the drive since you never know what to expect.
Meeting with an accident can result in physical injuries and psychological trauma that might haunt you and the children for years to come that’s why safety when driving with kids is extra important. Just ask any accident lawyer like Chicago personal injury lawyer Matthew Willens who has represented families in accidents in which children have been injured and they will be the first to tell you to always take extra precaution when driving with kids in the car.
Below are a five basic safety tips to help decrease the chance your drive to your daughter’s dance recital or your son’s little league practice doesn’t result in a tragic car accident.
- Keep the seatbelt on
The driver of the vehicle must always have his or her seatbelt on. It is also imperative for the co-passengers to buckle up during the ride irrespective of their age. In the past 50 years, seatbelts have saved over 329,700 lives. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) shows that not wearing seatbelts resulted in increased fatal crashes.
- Secure baggage and gear
Any loose items inside the car can become a projectile when the driver hits the brakes suddenly. Always secure loose items inside the car and be sure to keep the heavier items on the car floor and do not put stuff in places where they can fly towards the seats area during a crash.
- Using the right seats
Child seating laws vary by state, but for example in Illinois, children under the page of 8 are required to use a weight appropriate restraint system. Not having the right seat for your child and not sticking to the guidelines in your State can result in disaster. Also remember to always check that seats are properly secured and installed. According to the a NHTSA study in 2009 the most common mistakes were loose installation, installation of both seat belt and LATCH systems and twisted lower anchor straps.
- Do not leave your children alone in the car
Never leave children alone around the car or in it. When you are on a drive, always ensure that you know where your child is and do not let them switch seats or move around. Do not leave them in the car when you are in the gas station or the mart. Parked cars can get into accidents too. You definitely do not want your child in that car, in case a negligent driver hits it while you are in parking.
- Never text and drive
Texting and driving have been the leading cause of accidents for several years now. According to your state of residence, you might not be able to file a liability lawsuit against the insurance company or the driver of the other car, if you were using your digital device while driving.
Even if the accident is not your fault, no amount of compensation can make up for the pain and trauma your children can go through as a result of an accident. Taking these precautionary steps can not only help alleviate the dangers of the accident but also help you ride safer.