Drivers are, in effect, the captains of their ships. They are ultimately responsible for the safety of everyone in their car. When you drive, you have to look out for your passengers. If you’re a parent with small kids, this means protecting your most precious assets.
Children are not the same as adults. Their needs require special care and attention from parent drivers. In many cases, the law requires it. Think about some of the ways you can protect your kids in the backseat while you drive in the front seat.
Why Kids Need Protection
Children don’t have the same bodily defense mechanisms of fully-grown adults. Their bodies have not fully developed. They don’t have the same balance, control or size for utilities made for adults.
Therefore, when you put a child in a car, they often need extra protection. Think about a scenario of a high-impact accident. A child who is not sitting in a correctly-adjusted seat might have a higher chance of getting thrown out of it. This increases the chances of injury (or even death) for the child. Vehicle crash statistics on child injuries are sobering. In 2016, over 700 American children died as passengers in vehicle accidents. Though the fatality rate has declined due in part to enhanced safety, one child death is far too many.
It falls on every parent to keep their child well-protected while they ride in the car. You can’t prevent every accident, or monitor the actions of every driver. However, you can take responsibility for you and yours. With the proper steps, keeping your child safe in the car can be a relatively simple task.
First, Always Carry Auto Insurance
For most drivers, auto insurance is a no-brainer. It serves as a way to cover resulting costs in case of a wreck or other vehicle damage. In many ways, it can benefit both you and your family.
Car insurance can help you not suffer undue financial consequences after incidents. For example, liability protection can help you compensate third parties for damage they sustained as a result of a wreck that was your fault. Comprehensive and collision insurance can help you repair your vehicle following wrecks or other incidents.
Furthermore, you can often add other beneficial coverage elements to your policy. For example, personal injury protection (PIP) might help cover your passengers' injury costs. Other services, like rental car reimbursement and roadside assistance protection can help those who become stranded. It’s easy to see how these can come in handy for parents who have to transport their kids from place to place, often on a budget.
Talk to your auto insurance provider about the best auto insurance for you. In the case of families, it’s often a good idea to carry full, comprehensive insurance. The less financial risk you put on yourself, the more you’re able to see to your other needs. Most often, you need insurance for all vehicles you own. In fact, insuring all your cars together might qualify you for multi-vehicle discounts.
Safety Should Be Your Commitment
Even if you have auto insurance, don’t consider it the end to all means. Car insurance can protect you and your family after accidents happen. Beforehand, however, vehicular and passenger safety should be your priority. You owe it to your kids to keep them safe as their driver. Think about the ways to keep young children safe in the car.
- Strictly enforce seatbelt rules. Seatbelts are perhaps the most protective devices available to you and your children. Impress on the kids the importance of wearing their belts. If needed, institute consequences.
- Fit your child with an appropriately-sized safety seat. Child seats become imperative to making a child more secure in the vehicle. Adjust or replace the seats as your child grows. Eventually, you will be able to stop using them. However, don’t do it too soon.
- Require your child to sit in the back seat. The rear of the car is often safer than the front seat for your child.
- Utilize all child safety mechanisms in your vehicle. These might include door and window locks, mirrors or other safety devices.
- Never leave your child unattended in your vehicle. There are various ways you can avoid this mistake. However, the most common is to look and listen before exiting the vehicle.
Always consult your state’s child safety laws before driving with your child. Most states have laws about child restraints and rules for driving with children. Therefore, don’t have a child in the car if it is in violation of the law.
With the correct attention to detail, you can keep your child in safe hands as you drive. Consider it your duty as a parent to do so. If you need to take a closer look at your auto insurance, talk to one of our agents today.