Shuttling the kids around town or taking them on road trips can be fun, but it can also be stressful, especially if you’re a new parent or anyone else without a lot of experience driving with children in the car. Fortunately, if you follow a few simple tips, you can make things safer for the kids, yourself and everyone else on the road.
1. Buckle Up
Nothing increases safety more than buckling up. But sadly, many children aren’t buckled in, which leads to unnecessary deaths every year. According to the CDC, buckling up varies with age. More kids under age 4 are buckled during a crash, probably because parents put them in car seats. As kids get older, we see more fatalities due to lack of seat belt use. In fact, the CDC said that nearly half (49 percent) of 8-12-year-olds who died in crashes in 2017 were not buckled up.
2. Put Kids in the Right Seat
Follow the Texas guidelines for where you should seat children inside a vehicle:
- Children under 1 year old should always be in a rear-facing car seat.
- Use booster seats for kids who are too big for car seats but who are still under 57 inches tall.
- Use lap and shoulder belts for children who are too big for booster seats.
- Kids under age 13 should always be in the back seat.
3. Secure Toys and Gear
If you give your baby a toy, it will be dropped, and your baby will cry. You’ll be tempted to reach back and try to find it, which distracts you from the road. You might be bringing other loose items (clothes, snacks, etc.), and those can fly around the cabin if you have to hit the brakes. So if a toy gets dropped, pull over and look for it. And make sure to secure all your other cargo in storage bins and pockets in the seats, doors, or the trunk. Little things like this help prevent auto accidents.
4. Don’t Leave Children Alone in or Around Your Car
On average, 39 children die of heatstroke in America every year due to being left inside a hot car. Many of them were left inside accidentally. Always slow yourself down and remember you have a child in the car—it’s easier to forget than you might think, especially when the child has fallen asleep in the car seat. Be equally vigilant in watching for kids around the outside of your car. Even if your car has a backup camera, look carefully before backing up.
Our Texas Accident Attorneys Are Available if You Need Us
If you’re involved in an auto accident where you or your child is injured, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced lawyers at Ted B. Lyon & Associates in Dallas can evaluate your situation and protect your legal rights. We offer free initial consultations so it won’t cost you anything to speak with our attorneys. Call 866-503-4864 or contact us online.