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Tips for Safe Driving with Children
Parents want to keep their children safe, but sometimes they’re unsure how to do that. The best way to determine what’s best for your child is to educate yourself. While having a child sit on your lap during a car ride might feel comforting, creating the idea of protecting your child in your arms, this is actually an incredibly dangerous position for both parent and child in the event of a crash. To make sure your child is protected, we’ve found the best rules of the road to follow. Here’s how to be a safe driver with kids in the car.
Birth to Teen Years
The first step is picking a secure seat for your child. You will have to buy more than one over the course of baby’s childhood as it grows. When you pick one, make sure it is installed properly and secure inside the car. Make sure your choice of seat meets the safety standards pertaining to your state.
Firstly, the car seat should be placed rear facing until the child is nearly 2 years old.
After that, the child should be placed in a forward-facing seat with a harness until they reach around 40-60 pounds and/or 4 feet tall.
Once that seat is outgrown, the child should use a booster seat until they are the proper size to fit inside the restraints of your vehicle’s seatbelts by themselves. This final step is usually reached at around the age of 8.
Children under the age of 13 should stay seated in the backseat. Once a child is in its teenage years then it is safe from them to sit in the front passenger seat.
Remove any extraneous cargo you might be carrying in your car when you’re driving with your child. If you need to take cargo along with you, such as groceries or furniture, make sure to secure it and place it away from the child. Loose cargo can move about in the event of sharp turns and a crash which can then hit and injure your child.
Never leave children alone in cars. Heartbreakingly, many children die each year due to heatstroke from being left alone inside of hot cars. Take your child with you when you exit a vehicle and remember that your child is seated there. When a child is quiet or sleeping, some parents can forget about their child and leave without them. Leave a reminder, such as a note or toy, in your front seat to reminder you. Alternatively, put your purse or wallet in the backseat. This means you will need to go retrieve it from the backseat before leaving and will immediately remember your child is with you.
Rules of the Road
While most parents will try to be better drivers with their children in the car, some can unwillingly make unsafe decisions. If you need to check on your child, be safe and pull over. Do not look into the backseat and take your eyes off the road as this is a common cause of accidents. The same advice goes for focusing your mirrors on your child in the backseat, which still takes your attention from the road, endangering everyone in the car.
We hope our advice has been helpful and you’ve found new ways to keep your child safe when out on the road. If you’d like to learn more tips and tricks of the road, make sure to check out our blog. Also, feel free to give us a call or stop on down for a visit. Here, at Motion Kia, we’re ready to assist you with all of your automotive needs.