Help Keep Children Safe On the Road
An alarming statistic from the National Highway Transit Safety Association: In 2011, each day, close to two children under the age of 13 were killed and 338 were injured as a result of motor vehicle crashes. That's a huge number. And of those who died, more than a third were either not wearing seat belts or were not sitting in the appropriate car seats.
This week is Child Passenger Safety Week, an important initiative by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration aimed at helping keep young riders safe on the road. As smaller passengers, many of whom sit in their own car seats, children are particularly vulnerable during collisions. With motor-vehicle-related deaths continually on the rise, it's important to keep these safety tips in mind when taking your own family out on the road—not just this week, but every week of the year.
1. Make sure your child fits the car seat. Different car seats are designed to fit children of various ages and sizes. As your child grows, the seat he or she once fit may soon be too small, which could put them at further risk for injury during an accident.
2. Make sure the car seat fits your car. Similarly, different car models may require seats made in different styles and designs. One size does not fit all.
3. Only allow your children to transition to seat belts if they meet the necessary criteria. Your child must be tall enough to sit with his or her back against the seat, without slouching, with knees comfortably bent over the seat's edge, and with feet flat on the floor.
4. Teach your children the proper way to wear a seat belt...and make sure they're following your instructions correctly. Make sure the lap belt rests across the top of the thighs with the shoulder belt fitting snugly against the chest.
5. Never drive while distracted. Checking your phone for just one second could cause an unintentional wreck, especially if you're carrying children with you (since you're already partially distracted by their needs). By staying focused on the road, you'll eliminate that risk, and will also set an example for your children to follow years from now when they begin driving.
If you or a family member is ever involved in an automobile accident, give our attorneys a call. At the Law Office of Hardison Wood, we want to help keep your loved ones safe—and we're here to make sure they're protected should the unexpected occur.