A person is killed around every 12 minutes in a car accident in the USA. Which is why it’s essential to keep you and your family safe on the road now and always. Practicing safe habits to keep your family safe when you are driving and buying the necessary equipment to help prevent or reduce the risk of a fatality, is consistently essential in helping to safeguard your children. So whether you are purchasing a new family car, you’ve just passed your driving test, or you’ve just welcomed a new addition to your family who requires their own place in your vehicle, the prospect of safety should be revisited on a regular basis, to keep you updated and aware of what you can do to best protect your family..

The below 3 tips touch on how you can keep your family safe when you are driving by incorporating safer thinking and equipment into your daily driving to help care for your children.

Be sure to keep your family safe when you are driving during your travels by using these three tips. Which of these tips are you using during your trips?

Picture by Grant Porter

Child Seats

The legal requirement for a child seat in the US varies by state. Google is a handy tool for helping you to find out exactly what the laws on child restraints are for your state to ensure you are meeting the requirements and to avoid committing an offense or receiving a fine. Generally, a rear-facing car seat is required to be fitted in the back seat of the car for infants up until around 1 year’s old. Using a car seat for infants up until the age of 1 reduces the risk of a fatal injury by 70%. Following this, you may be required to opt for a forward facing car seat as your child grows.

For guidance on how to install your child seat securely and to eliminate any chances of the car seat sliding sidewards or forwards while you are driving, some major retail stores who specialize in baby equipment will offer to demonstrate how to fit the car seat for you. Alternatively, you can watch youtube videos to help show how your car seat can be fitted with either ISOFIX or a seat belt.

Following the child seat, some states require your child to use a booster seat. For example in Alabama, booster seats are required for children up until the age of 6.

After booster seats, the next step to safety for your older children and yourself is to use a seat belt. In 1999, on average 9,500 people died as a result simply failing to plug in their seat belt, which is why it’s essential seat belts are used consistently when driving.

Drive Defensively

There are a lot of elements on the road that you can’t control. Such as; weather causing slippy roads, roadblocks, aggressive drivers, other car accidents. However, you can control the way you drive. With no such thing as a perfect driver, following our driving test, the good habits we once religiously abided may begin to fade. For instance, you may find drivers failing to indicate when they move across lanes, this could even be something you may be guilty of.  Which is why it’s essential to knock off the auto-pilot driving you tend to fall into once you have been driving for a long time, and instead choose to make a conscious decision to remain alert and focused while you are behind the wheel.Which means assessing your hazards that are out of your immediate vicinity and drive on the assumption that other drivers are not as alert as you.

An example of this is to avoid colliding with a red light runner. When the traffic light turns green at the crossroad, wait a few seconds to check that a reckless driver hasn’t risked running a red light. Always keep a safe distance between you and other road users, where you can at least see their tires and tarmac. Equally, try to remain calm around other bad drivers who attempt to tailgate and bully you to speed up. If this happens to you, you can pull over to the side of the road and wait for the tailgating driver to pass.

Should a car accident you are involved in or witness cause a fatality, wrongful death attorneys from Robinette Legal Group can offer legal support in the event the car accident was as a result of another driver.

Safety Pack

Keeping a safety pack in the trunk or glove compartment can help you in a wide range of scenarios. Whether your car has broken down in the middle of nowhere, you’ve run out of petrol or if you have been involved in a car accident. Sourcing the following items can help you in these scenarios.

  • First aid kit – Should there be a car accident, your first aid kit may come in handy. Usually stocked with bandages, curved scissors, safety pins and cleansing fluid for wounds, it may help you when you least expect it.
  • Blanket – In the event of a car accident, this can help comfort those who are in shock. Alternatively, it may be used to keep warm if your car breaks down in the winter time.
  • Energy food – such as breakfast bars with a distant expiry date to keep yours and your families morale and energy high when you may have to wait for a long duration for a breakdown truck to arrive to save your vehicle.

Using the above tips and making a choice every time you drive to be cautious and alert will help reduce the probability of an accident. Another element to consider is regular maintenance of your vehicle, which will help to prevent breakdowns, particularly in locations where you may find it difficult to receive help.