When you have children, even a quick ride in the car to the supermarket can seem like you’re planning an expedition. Finding all the shoes, the jackets, toys, making sure everyone has used the bathroom, checking you don’t leave your purse, breaking up quarrels and wrestling your youngest into their child seat…getting out of the front door within an hour is considered good timing!
However, in our rush to get to where we need to be and make the journey as quick and as stress-free as possible, we often forget how important road and in-car safety can be. As the driver, it’s your responsibility to ensure that every passenger is safe and you’re keeping your eyes on the road. Failing to do so could result in a road accident that could injure you and your children. Speak with an auto accident law firm if you’ve been in a road accident that could have been avoided.
A car crash with the kids in the back is every parent’s worst nightmare, so with this in mind let’s take a look at how you can avoid a road disaster with these in-car parenting safety tips.
Make sure their seats are fitted correctly
Car seats can be incredibly complicated and it’s not always easy to know if your child needs to have the straps adjusted or the positioning of the seat altered. It’s also a worrying fact that a large percentage of car seats are incorrectly fitted by parents. This means in the event of a crash, your child won’t have the protection they need. Regularly check your car seats’ instruction manual to ensure it is fitted correctly and has been adjusted sufficiently. If you’re still unsure, check out some online tutorials or head back to the store and ask for a demonstration.
Always lock the doors and the windows
Child safety locks are there for a reason – to prevent your child from opening the car doors when you’re stationary or moving. The same applies to the power window locks. A staggering number of children are severely injured or killed due to power window accidents each year. Don’t take the risk!
Never leave them unattended in the vehicle
You’re only stepping inside the store to pick up a prescription. You can leave your sleeping toddler for a moment, right? It’s something many parents do. Sadly, it can have devastating consequences. During the few minutes you leave your child unattended, your car could be stolen and driven away. It could be involved in a crash despite being stationary or your child could get out of their seat and activate controls or buttons which could cause the car to move or roll away into traffic. Never leave your children unattended in your vehicle.
And finally, keep them distracted
On particularly long journeys your children are going to get bored and frustrated. This means more fights between siblings, grumpy toddlers and lots of distractions for you as the driver. This is incredibly dangerous, so plan ahead and bring along plenty of toys and entertainment to keep your little ones occupied. That way you can focus on the road ahead.