Do you go on long drives with your children? Are you fond of getting them in the back seat, buckled into their car or booster seats, en route to school? If you have answered “yes” to either or both of these questions, chances are that car safety is important to you.
Older children, particularly those that are school age, will already be aware of the role they play in car safety. Often, these children know the importance of buckling in, taking the practice to heart with every trip in your vehicle.
Younger children may need a bit more help and attention. As a responsible adult and driver, this is where you come in.
Read on to learn more about keeping your children safe while you are behind the wheel in the Lone Star State.
No Kids in the Front Seat
Just by imagining the casualties and injuries in a typical car accident, you can expect danger in one place — the front of the car. By “the front,” we mean the driver’s seat and the passenger seat.
Indeed, advances have been made in driver safety, in the form of sensor-controlled seat belts and airbags. While these improvements do protect adult drivers, they can be dangerous for smaller passengers.
For this reason, emphasize the importance of sitting in the backseat. Kids Health recommends children below the age of 13 to sit in the rear seats. This can protect them in the event of a car accident.
Install Car Seats for Newborns and Toddlers
Car seats save lives in the United States. For this reason, every state including Texas requires drivers with children to install car seats in the rear of the vehicle. Car seats are ideal for newborns and toddlers.
Whether to get a rear-facing or front-facing car seat depends on the weight of the child. According to Kids Health, children weighing less than 16 kilograms need to sit in rear-facing car seats. On the other hand, you can switch over to a front-facing car seat once the child grows above 18 kilograms.
Ensure that the straps of the seat are tight enough to protect the child during a car accident. As a general rule of thumb, leave enough space so that the child stays comfortable. The space you leave can be about two inches.
Switch to Booster Seats When the Child Grows
Booster seats are best for children weighing anywhere from 18 kilograms to 37 kilograms. This recommendation comes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Booster seats come in four different types. All of them place your child higher so that the seatbelts of your vehicle ergonomically protect the child’s stronger muscle groups
One thing to keep in mind is that not all booster seats will have a backrest. Only consider these seats if your vehicle’s rear seats come equipped with headrests.
Like car seats, booster seats are subject to certain regulations. When buying a booster seat, ask if the seat meets or exceeds Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
For School-Age Children and Pre-Teens, Promote Seatbelt Usage
Seatbelts can mean the difference between minor injuries and major injuries following a car accident. Seat Belts keep children or your other passengers on their seats. Ordinarily, a seat belt has two straps. One should go across the chest, and the other across the thighs.
It is never a good idea to make a seat belt too tight. There has to be enough room for the child to move while wearing it. In addition, the NHTSA recommends that seatbelts do not cover the face or the abdominal region as doing this can impede breathing.
If you regularly take other children on rides or carpool, never buckle two children using a single seatbelt. This will endanger the lives of your young passengers as well as make the ride uncomfortable. Just in case, keep an extra booster or car seat on hand. This allows you to accommodate smaller children into your vehicle.
It is tempting to buy a second-hand booster or car seat, especially due to the possible savings. However, doing this is not recommended.
The reason for this is that second-hand seats for children may have missing parts. Also, these car or booster seats may have already sustained wear-and-tear, sustaining damage that may not be apparent at the time of purchase.
Buying second-hand car seats or booster seats may be practical. Yet, the savings may not be worth the lives of your young passengers in Texas. Instead, invest in a brand new booster seat.
A brand new seat can provide the protection your children need for years. It may be pricier. However, consider it an investment towards your children’s well-being.
Buckle Up, and Stay Car-Accident Free
Ensuring the safety of your children as you drive is straightforward. All you need to do is choose the right kind of seat and promote the use of a seat belt.
In case you and your family meet a car accident in Texas, you will need a Corpus Christi car accident lawyer who can help you claim compensation. Call us now after getting into an accident to receive legal services that care about your family.