Every parent has a responsibility to keep their children safe and protected, to the best of their abilities. It’s impossible to erase every single threat that could pose some form of risk to your children, but there are always ways to reduce the chances of them getting hurt, and this is especially true while driving.
An accident can change your life in the blink of an eye, and if your children are involved, the consequences can be catastrophic. Statistics show that automobile accidents are a leading cause of death and injury in children of all ages, and while some accidents almost seem unavoidable due to reckless road users or drunk drivers, there are still methods you can use to help to keep your little ones and older children as safe as possible, whenever you get behind the wheel.
Use Car Seats
When it comes to keeping kids safe in cars, it’s absolutely essential to use car safety seats. Not only is this a legal requirement in many locations, but it can also have a massive effect on keeping kids protected, should an accident occur. With over 100,000 children injured in accidents every single year and hundreds dying, the importance of car seats cannot be underestimated.
But just getting any seat isn’t enough. You have to choose one that suits the age and size of your child, as well as making sure you install it properly. Very young children need infant car seats, while those who are a little older require forward-facing car seats, and children over the age of five but under the height of 57″ should at the very least have a booster seat.
Never Leave Kids In Cars Unattended
Even when your car is stopped and parked, your kids can still be at risk. Dozens of children are killed due to heatstroke from being left in hot cars each and every year, and even if you only have to hop out of the vehicle and into a store for a few minutes, it’s never a good idea to leave your little ones unattended.
Even if the day isn’t overly hot or sunny, kids can still be at all kinds of risks when left without proper parental supervision. They might get abducted, accidentally start the car rolling if they play around with the brakes, or suffer some other kind of health issue that requires immediate attention, and if you’re not around to protect them, the situation could get a lot worse.
Distracted driving is a killer. It accounts for thousands of deaths and countless injuries, each and every year, and in the modern world, with smartphones, tablets, GPS systems, and entertainment units in so many vehicles, it can be harder than ever before for the average driver to keep distractions at bay.
It’s essential to keep your focus on the road, at all costs. This means never texting or using your phone while driving, trying not to fiddle around with radios and entertainment systems too much, never drinking or eating while behind the wheel, and always taking the precaution of pulling over if you need to do any of these things.
Pack Your Car Properly
If you’re planning any kind of car ride, whether it’s a long cross-country trip or a short drive around the block, it’s important to ensure that any items in your car are secured properly and any loose odds and ends are cleaned out before you set off.
You can easily get distracted by items rolling around in the back, and if you have to suddenly brake hard, even small things can turn into dangerous, deadly projectiles when flung forward at high speed. Even people who aren’t buckled up can fly forwards into the windows or seats in front of them, and pets that aren’t properly secured can be flung around as well.
Whenever you get behind the wheel, it’s so important to keep your eyes on the road, your focus levels high, and any distractions to a minimum. This is particularly important when driving with children, as their lives are in your hands every single time you start the car.
Badly installed car seats or simple distractions like phones and gadgets can massively increase the risk of terrible accidents, putting yourself, your children, and others around you at risk. So the next time you get behind the wheel, be sure to keep these smart tips in mind to help keep everyone safe.