As a parent, you try to do everything to keep your child safe. From child locks to expensive baby monitors, it can seem like there are dangers that need to be addressed everywhere. If there is one place to keep your child safe, however, it’s in your car.
In 2015, 663 children died in the passenger seat as the result of motor vehicle crashes throughout the country. Hundreds of thousands of children were also injured. Even though this number has been declining since the 1970s, motor vehicle injuries are still the number one cause of death among American children, even though many of these deaths can be prevented.
How to Keep Your Kids Safe in the Car
Seatbelts On: You shouldn’t just buckle up because it’s the law. Wearing a seatbelt helps to reduce the risk of serious injury and death by more than 50%. Whether you are taking a quick trip down the street or embarking on a long road trip, you need to buckle up, no matter what.
Thirty-five percent of the children who died in 2015 were not wearing seatbelts, and many of those deaths could have been prevented if the child was properly restrained. Seatbelts make a big difference for both children and adults. Be a good role model and put on your seatbelt every time you drive.
Use the Right Car Seat: Car seats and booster seats can be expensive, but are well worth it because they can save your child’s life.
All children under the age of 12 should be using some kind of car or booster seat. The appropriate booster seat changes throughout your child’s growth and development. Consult this handy guide to see which seat is right for your child.
Also understand that purchasing the right seat isn’t enough. Read the instructions carefully to properly install the seat. Eighty percent of booster and car seats are not installed correctly, leaving many children with a higher risk of injury or death after a car accident.
Remember That Safe Driving Starts With You: While it is important for children to stay buckled up and use car seats, the best way to keep them safe in the car is to drive carefully. A devastating 1 in 5 cases of child deaths from car accidents involved a drunk driver – the majority of whom were the child’s parent. Stay sober, stay alert, and drive without distractions.
Keep Kids Away From Airbags: Even though airbags are designed to help passengers in the event of an accident, they are made for adults. The size of an airbag can overwhelm and suffocate a child during an accident. Keep rear-facing car seats away from air bags. The safest place for a child to sit is the middle of the back seat.
Car Safety Applies Whenever You are Near the Road: In 2015, 663 children died in the passenger seat during a motor vehicle crash… but an additional 186 died as pedestrians, and 29 while riding their bicycle. Teach your children to be careful of cars while crossing the street, and to wear helmets while riding.
Unfortunately, you are not usually the only driver on the road. There are many other factors (and many other drivers) that can cause an accident. If your child is injured in a motor vehicle accident due to another driver’s negligence, you deserve compensation. Contact a Florida personal injury lawyer to get started on your case.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s “Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.