Keeping Your Children Protected in the Car
Traveling by car is a risk, and most of us are willing to assume this risk in order to keep our lives moving forward. No matter how careful and safe a driver you are, car accidents can and do happen – and if you have children in the car, it makes the issue that much more harrowing. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to help protect your children when they are with you in the car.
You learned it in driver's education class. It remains just as important today as it ever was – driving defensively is paramount. Driving this way means that every move you make behind the wheel should be in defense of your own – and your passengers' –safety. As such, there are several things that you should never do:
Never Drive Distracted – Put your phone away.
Never Drive Impaired – Drinking and driving are a deadly combination.
Never Speed Excessively – The greater the speed, the more dangerous the accident.
Never Drive Drowsy – The effects of exhaustion are similar to those of impairment.
Driving safely should always be your goal – whether you have children in the car with you or not.
Protecting Your Children
When your kids are in your car with you, there are things you can specifically do to help protect them, including:
Ensure that every child is safely secured in a safety seat, in a booster seat, or by a seatbelt – in accordance with each child's age and size – every single time.
Maintain your vehicle in safe working order – with tires that are in good condition.
When you see a wreck or any other disturbance ahead, slow your speed while transitioning safely to the lane that is furthest away.
If you recognize that a collision cannot be avoided, attempt to steer your car's hood toward the accident to help minimize impact to the passenger area.
If you are in an accident, pull your vehicle as far out of the way of oncoming traffic as you possibly can (to avoid a secondary collision). After pulling over, proceed to remove your children from the car safely and to get them as far out of harm's way as you possibly can.
If the impact of the accident was significant (even if you do not think anyone in your vehicle was injured), seek immediate medical attention for yourself and your children. Because children are even more vulnerable to severe injuries that hide in plain sight, always err on the side of caution.