Parents are responsible for teaching driving safety to their children. Here are some safety tips to keep your family safe on the road.
You should always buckle up. If you are driving a short distance, it is still important to wear a seat belt. The majority of accidents occur within 25 miles of your home. Do not risk your family’s safety. Make sure everyone has their seat belt on before driving. Be a role model and always wear a seat belt.
Seat belts are made for adults. If your child is still too small an adult seat belt, he or she should use a booster seat. Children are usually big enough for a seat belt when they reach about 4’9″. Usually, these children are between 8 and 12 years old. The shoulder portion of the seat belt should lie across the middle of the chest and shoulder, and the lap portion should be low across the upper thighs. Do not let your children tuck the shoulder portion under their arm or back.
Car safety seats can save lives. No particular car seat is the best for every child. The best seat depends on your child’s size. It must also be correctly installed and used properly every time. More expensive car seats do not mean the seat is safer. Try the car seat out in your car. Some seats will not fit properly on the rear seats. Put your child in the car seat. Adjust the harnesses and buckles to make sure the car seat fits properly and securely. If you are purchasing a new car, you should bring your children and car seat to make sure that the safety seat fits. You should also read your car owner’s manual about installing your car safety seat.
Avoid distractions while driving. Do not use a mobile device while driving. This sets an unsafe example for your children. Children can be very loud and distracting while driving. Try to keep your distractions from your children at a minimum. When you are distracted, this means your eyes are off the road. A car could suddenly stop, but if you are distracted, you may be unable to break in time.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distractions contribute to almost half of all traffic accidents. If you must use a cell phone, you should use a hands-free device or purchase an earpiece attachment. Do not place your cell phone on the passenger seat.
There are also important safety habits to practice. It is important to remember to follow the speed limit. You should always leave an appropriate amount of space between you and the car in front of you. Remember to use your windshield wipers and headlights to improve visibility. Practicing these safe driving habits will protect you and your family.