Drivers throughout Alabama worry about numerous conditions during even the shortest trip. Whether it is a drive to work, trip to the store or taking the kids to school, motorists are concerned about road conditions as well as the skill of the drivers sharing the lanes around them. Unfortunately, having children in the car adds a new layer of complexity to the experience.
Whether it is a young parent, grandparent watching the kids or a school carpool driver heading to an outing, numerous safety protocols are in place to reduce the chance for serious injuries in a vehicle collision, including:
- Car seats: Depending on the manufacturer’s eligibility requirements based on height and weight, children from infancy to around seven years old will need a secure car seat to ride safely in a passenger vehicle. When the child nears, reaches or exceeds the maximum requirements on that particular piece of equipment, parents must switch to the new car seat or begin using a booster seat if that is the next step.
- Booster seat: When the child grows out of the car seat, parents must now use a booster seat to ensure the child is secure in the vehicle. Manufacturers have designed booster seats for children who are too large for a car seat but too small for regular seat belt use. Essentially, the booster seat lifts the child’s profile so the shoulder strap and lap belt fit as intended by safety experts.
- Avoid distractions: Even though children in the vehicle are a necessity, drivers must work hard to limit distractions. From having conversations with the children and ending sibling disputes to handing out snacks and answering questions, young parents must set expectations and always focus on the road. Any type of distraction can lead a driver to miss safety signals, fail to recognize reckless drivers or speed through an intersection.
Depending on the types of vehicles and the speeds at which they were traveling, motor vehicle collisions can result in catastrophic injuries. Parents must ensure the children are safe and protected in case a crash becomes a reality.