Keep your children safe on the road

September 20 2018

From the car seat to the driver's seat, car safety for kids is always a top priority. The following tips will help ensure your child stays safe on the road.

Choose the right car seat.

The most important thing you can do is have children buckled in an appropriate seat and direction for their age and weight. Toddlers are
up to five times safer in rear-facing car seats, which is why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends them until children are at least 2 years of age. What else can help keep them safe as they grow? 

  • Look for a convertible seat. These can switch from rear- to front-facing, so it's easy to transition as kids get older.

  • Always use the top tether strap to anchor front-facing seats. This can limit forward movement by four to six inches and help prevent injury in a collision.

  • Booster seats should be used once a child reaches the minimum weight of 30 to 40 pounds. While state laws only require booster seats until age 8, experts suggest using them until your child exceeds 4 feet, 9 inches in height.

  • Children should ride in the back seat until the age of 13.

Provide guidance to new drivers.

Parental guidance and lots of practice are two of the most effective ways to help teens learn how to drive safely. Here's how you can help bring them up to speed.

  • Supervise practice along different routes and in various weather conditions. Point out how these variations affect decision-making.

  • Explain the reasons behind traffic laws. For example, teens should understand that exceeding the speed limit reduces response time.

  • Make sure new drivers understand the importance of slowing down and using headlights and wipers when visibility is poor.

  • Discourage unnecessary distractions, such as texting, that can lead to accidents.

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