Depending on the location and time, driving is both a stressful and dangerous experience. While the odds are low, there is still a possibility that anyone can collide with your car, or you’ll experience some mechanical failure, putting you in a hazardous situation. Having your children in the car compounds the stress—whether it’s their presence that worries you or the distractions they cause. Know how you can ensure your child’s safety while you’re driving for an easier experience.
Make Sure Your Kids Are in the Proper Seats
The “proper” seats will change depending on your child’s age, but you must know the safest spot for them in the car.
Children under two years old need to sit in a rear-facing car seat, while children two to four can sit in a forward-facing car seat.
If your kids are between the ages of four and eight, you need to consider a belt-positioning booster.
If your child is at least eight, they no longer need any booster, but they must sit in the back seat until they turn 12.
Front Seat Considerations
While children can sit in the front seat once they hit 12 years old, the safest spot for them remains the back seat. If it’s a casual drive through town or to the store, having them sit up front is no problem; however, you may want to keep them in the back for longer trips.
Eliminate All Distractions
You can’t control every distraction or irritant in the car, but you do hold power over the ones in which you engage. Driving requires your full attention; even a momentary glance down at a phone or changing radio stations can cause accidents. If you’re in speeding traffic or you need to make turns or lane changes, don’t distract yourself with other things.
Ensure Your Car’s up to the Task
You and your child are only as safe as your car, and allowing it to deteriorate will put everyone in danger. The reasons for routine maintenance extend beyond safety, but the well-being of everyone is at the top of the list. Never drive with faulty tires, worn-down components, or strange and unexplained noises. Something seemingly insignificant can cause major breakdowns and car failures when you least expect it.
Attentive and Focused
Always maintain a serious attitude when driving with your children, don’t make any risky maneuvers, or try to save time by going over the speed limit. The potential benefit is never worth the possible risk and knowing how to keep your kids safe while in the car is your job when driving them anywhere.