School’s Out For Summer
Summer break is finally here, which means kids are ready for fun in the sun. If you are planning a family vacation, it is important to consider the potential hazards that could affect your young passengers. Whether you’re driving your family vehicle or a rental car, there are several safety measures you should address before you hit the road.
Childproof Your Ride
Many parents understand the importance of childproofing their home, but this same concept should be applied to the family vehicle. The #1 cause of death in children is vehicle-related injuries. While not all car accidents can be avoided, you can help keep your little ones safe by implementing the following safety precautions.
Regardless of you or your spouse’s handiwork, getting a carseat professionally installed will ensure it works properly to protect your child. The carseat should be rear-facing until the child surpasses the maximum height and weight limitations for that exact model.
Once the child grows beyond the height and weight threshold, the carseat should be reinstalled facing forward. Make sure to use the harness and tether until the child’s shoulders extend above the highest adjustment notch, or the maximum weight limit is reached.
After the child has outgrown the carseat, a booster seat should be used until they are big enough to comfortably use the seat belt.
5 Step Seat Belt Test
1.) Does the child sit all the way back against the vehicle’s seat?
2.) Are the child’s knees bent comfortably at the edge of the vehicle’s seat?
3.) Does the seat belt cross the shoulder between the neck and the arm?
4.) Is the lap belt as low as possible, touching the thighs?
5.) Can the child stay seated in the above position for the duration of the trip?
If you cannot confidently answer “YES” to all 5 questions, the child should still be using their booster seat.
Look Before You Lock
It may seem like common knowledge, but it is important to always check the back seat to make sure no one is left behind. Make it a habit to open the back door every time you park by keeping an important item in the rear row seats, such as your cellphone, laptop, or work briefcase.
Car models manufactured after 2001 come with a glow in the dark trunk release inside the compartment. Teach your kids how to use this automatic release so that they are prepared for a worst-case-scenario.
If your car is older than 2002, you can buy one for your vehicle for $7.00 at www.KidsAndCars.org.
Back Seat is Safest
Children under the age of 15 should always ride in the back seat, where they are most safe. The middle seat of the back row is the safest seat in your vehicle. You can read more about the safety study here.
To find out more ways to childproof your car, you can visit Kids And Cars for additional resources.
After more than 25 years representing injury victims in car wrecks, truck wrecks, and motorcycle accidents, the experienced team of professional accident attorneys at Reyes Browne Reilley have seen the consequences of negligence first-hand. If you have sustained injuries because of a car wreck which was not your fault, contact us now for a free and confidential case review. Fill out our contact form online, or call (214) 526-7900, and we will get you on the road to recovery.