Cars are dangerous for all of us. But, if used with care, they can keep our families safe and protected. Unfortunately, too many kids succumb to the dangers of cars every year, especially in the summer months when they get a little bored and start looking for new ways to play. Here are six ways to protect your kids from car accidents whether you’re home or away.
1. Use child safety seats properly.
Child safety seat laws exist for a reason – they work. Keep your child in their infant carrier until at least the age of one and in a booster seat until they are 8 years old or 4-feet-9-inches tall. It’s annoying to deal with car seats, but they keep your child safe and securely buckled into their seat should you be involved in a car accident.
2. Always check the backseat.
It is possible for any parent to leave a sleeping child in the backseat. Parents are tired, distracted, and forgetful. Schedules change and you may not think you have your child with you. Leaving your child unattended in a vehicle, especially in the summer months, can result in heatstroke and death. This happens, tragically, dozens of times every year.
3. Look all around your car before backing up.
You may think you can see everything around your vehicle, but if you own a truck or SUV, you can’t. Frontovers and backovers are a reality, and they typically happen in residential driveways or parking lots. Even though drivers in these circumstances are moving slowly, every year thousands of children are hurt or killed in this way because the driver didn’t see them.
4. Do not leave keys in the car.
Kids see mom and dad driving the car, so it must be OK for them to do too. Even the kids who know better will be tempted to get behind the wheel should the opportunity arise. They could easily put the car in gear and into motion. Keep your kids in their seats and never let them think they’re driving the car themselves, so they don’t get the idea they’re capable of it when you’re not there.
5. Use child safety locks.
Don’t think it’s a big deal if your child can put their backseat window up and down? It is. Power windows have killed or injured thousands of children. Turn on the child safety locks and let the kids complain. You, the parent and the driver, control the windows at all times.
6. Teach your kids how to get out of the trunk.
You don’t want your kids to play in and around your cars, but it happens. Showing your child all the safety mechanisms on your car allows them to help themselves should they need it. Internal truck release mechanisms have been the standard in cars since 2001. Find yours and show your kids how to use it so they don’t get trapped.
If your child is involved in a car accident, contact Femminineo Attorneys in Mt. Clemens, MI, to discuss your case.