Although the cars we drive and the roads we drive them on are much safer than they have been in the past, every time you drive anywhere, you’re taking a risk. It would be horrible if you were involved in a car accident, but even worse if it involved the people you love most – your kids. Thankfully, there are a number of ways that parents can make their cars safer for their children, and minimize the risk of them ever coming to harm on the road. Here are just a few…
Get the Right Car Seats
Now that your children are too big for the infant car seats you were using in the past, you’ll need to find some car seats that are going to keep them as safe as possible. Like many things, getting the right car seats for your children should start with thorough online research. Try and do this as objectively as possible. Everyone’s going to have a different opinion on what the safest and most convenient models are. However, the right car seat is any one that fits your child, fits your car, and presents minimal hassle with installing it every time. Start looking at blogs and forums that have reviews of child car seats, and take notes of any models that might be a good choice for you. If you’re ever becoming too overwhelmed by the information you’re getting, you may even want to find a certified child safety technician. Remember that the child’s age isn’t the main thing to be worrying about – it’s their height and weight. Overlook this, and you may wind up getting a seat that isn’t going to offer your child the protection they need.
Keep on Top of Routine Maintenance
Most parents will get their car serviced just before a summer vacation, or before the first snows, making sure their vehicle doesn’t break down when they need it least. However, if you want your car to be as safe as possible for your children, you need to keep on top of its routine maintenance, as specified in the owner’s manual. Making sure that the oil is fresh, there’s enough wiper fluid, and that the tire pressure is at a safe level, are all essential steps to ensuring your car is as safe as the manufacturers intended. Taking your car in for routine maintenance may also open your eyes to more serious issues, such as the brake pads being worn down. At the very least, you should be taking your car in to be checked twice per year to minimize the risk of a dangerous mechanical issue. You can’t put a price on your family’s safety!
Avoid Distracted Driving
This is possibly one of the most important tips we can offer to any parent drivers. Talk to any experienced car accident lawyer, and they’ll tell you that distracted driving is one of the biggest causes for collisions these days. If you’re always having to look in the mirror to verbally break up fights, or tell one of your children off for throwing their toys around, it may be time to have a more serious chat with your children about the dangers of distracting mommy when she’s at the wheel. You don’t want to scare them too much, but it’s important for them to understand how dangerous a car can be if the driver doesn’t have their attention on the road. You should also be paying close attention to your own habits. If you find yourself glancing down at your phone to answer a call or skip a song, then this is a habit you need to break immediately. Eating at the wheel and adjusting the stereo can also be exceedingly dangerous when you’re in motion. You may only be taking your eyes off the road for a few seconds, but a few seconds is all it takes!
Get Rid of Projectiles
A huge proportion of injuries in car crashes aren’t caused by the collision itself, but by flying projectiles inside the car. Moms have busy schedules, and in between school runs and getting to soccer practice on time, all kinds of things can pile up on the dashboard, or in the various little nooks on the doors. They’re harmless now, but in a crash, these objects can be deadly. Get into the habit of neutralizing any potential projectiles. Before setting off, take a quick glance around your whole car, pick up anything that has the potential to be a flying projectile, and put it in the glove box or the trunk.