Did you know that car accidents are still one of the leading causes of death in children over the age of three?
Despite technological advancements and the safety increase of car seats, there are thousands of parents who do not know how to properly install or use their child’s car seat.
In fact, according to a study published by the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, most parents do not even read the guidelines before installing their child’s car seat.
Using a car seat is not the only way to keep your child safe. You must also practice safe driving practices, use seatbelts, and more. If you are on the road, the most precious asset is your child. So, do everything you can to make sure your child is taken care of and safe, whether you are driving a few miles or few hundred miles.
5 Ways to Keep Kids Safe in the Car
These five things will keep kids safe during the ride regardless of age. Being proactive toward your child’s safety could mean the difference between a fatal accident and one where your child walks away unharmed.
1. Use Car Seats Properly – Every car seat manufacturer has different instructions for installing and operating a car seat. Just because you have installed one in the past does not mean you know how to work the latest model or even the next brand you buy.
Read over the instructions carefully and make sure you are installing it properly. If you have the latch system in your vehicle, make sure you use it, as it is safer than seatbelt harnesses.
Also, use the car seat that is proper for your child’s weight. Rear-facing seats should be used in children under the age of three, while children up to age seven must remain in booster seats.
2. Use Seatbelts – If your child does not use a harness on their car seat, then he or she needs to use the seatbelt inside your vehicle. Seatbelts and shoulder straps should come across your child’s chest and the lap belt across their upper thighs.
If your child sits in the backseat and buckles themselves up, make sure they are buckled before actually driving away. Also, realize that seatbelts don’t fit children until they are 80 to 100 pounds and at least 57 inches tall, which is why children need booster seats.
3. Don’t Drive Distracted – Never drive your children while talking on the phone, grooming or even eating. Distracted driving is becoming the leading cause of accidents in the United States, surpassing drunken driving.
4. Never Drive Drunk – While most parents would never drive while over the legal limit, driving with even a drop of alcohol in your system puts your child at risk. Small amounts of alcohol can increase response times, which are critical in a potential accident. If you are going to drive kids around, do not drink.
5. Be Mindful of What’s in the Car – Sometimes it is not the accident that injures, but the items in the vehicle. Excess clutter in your car will fly around during a car accident and can cause serious injuries. You should make it a practice to remove anything you do not need from your car each time you get home to prevent debris from moving around and possibly injuring a child.
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Injured in an Accident? Contact West Palm Beach, FL Car Accident Lawyers
If you and your children were injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact West Palm Beach, FL car accident lawyers at Sternberg | Forsythe, P.A. today for a free consultation by dialing 561-687-5660.