No matter who is in your car, you want to keep both them and you safe. However, the urge to keep everyone safe is even higher when those passengers are children.
Although many vehicles have more safety features than ever before, there are things about cars that make them more dangerous than they have been in the past. You can mitigate many of these dangers by going the speed limit and putting your cell phone down while you’re driving, but there are other things you can do to keep your littlest passengers even safer when they’re in the car.
Table of Contents
Get the Right Insurance
Your first job is to make sure you get the right insurance. Not only is having car insurance legally required in nearly every U.S. state, but it is also essential when protecting you and your family.
If your budget is a huge consideration, liability insurance is affordable, but it won’t protect your vehicle or your children in the event of an accident. Comprehensive coverage can make sure you always have a car to drive, while additional coverage options can include things like personal injury protection and medical payments coverage.
The best way to make sure you have the right insurance is to speak with your insurance provider about your needs and they can provide you with solutions that work for your family.
Use the Right Car Seat
Long gone are the days of letting the kids sit in the front or backseat with just a seat belt. If you want your children to be safe, they have to be placed in a car seat.
Choosing the right car seat is essential. The type of car seat an infant needs is very different than the kind of car seat a 5-year-old needs. Even children as old as 12 should sit in the backseat on a booster seat until they reach a height of 4 feet 9 inches tall.
Having the right car seat is important, but it is also important to make sure it is installed in your vehicle correctly. Make sure that’s the case by having your car seat checked by a child passenger safety technician. Have them check your seat every time a new one is installed in your car.
Get the Kids Ready Before You Drive
Children demand a lot of our attention. That doesn’t change just because you’re driving. Unfortunately, many of their demands can cause us to divert our attention from the road, which increases your chances of experiencing an accident.
The best way to avoid being distracted by your kids is to make sure they are ready to go before you start driving. That includes doing things like:
- Giving them a snack
- Putting a drink in the car seat cup holder
- Placing their favorite toy within reach
- Starting a movie on a tablet
Secure Items in the Car
Cars that carry kids on a regular basis get messy fast. It’s normal for snack foods to end up between the seats, fruit drinks to make floor mats sticky, and toys to be strewn all over the backseat. Take the time to clean up. Not only will cleaning up the car make you feel better, it can keep your kids safe too.
Any items that are not secured can become projectiles that can injure you and your passengers in an accident, or even if you simply slam on your brakes. If it isn’t necessary for the trip, it should be placed in the trunk or inside a bag.
Handheld devices are projectiles too! Secure phones to the dash when using the GPS, and secure tablets to headrests or car seats.
Never Leave the Kids Unattended in the Car
Every summer, there’s at least one child in the news who perished after being left alone in the car. It’s surprisingly easy for busy parents to forget their children in the backseat. Make sure this doesn’t happen to you by leaving something important in the back, like your purse or cell phone, so you have to check the back seat before leaving the car.
Although it may be tempting to leave your child in the car while you run an errand, you shouldn’t. Even if it doesn’t seem dangerous to you, leaving your child unattended is illegal in some places.
Driving is the most dangerous thing most of us do, and it’s something we do nearly every day. Lower your chances of experiencing an accident and keep your kids safe by following the tips on this list.