Keep Your Kids Safe in the Car
With summer fast approaching, the time spent in your car with your children is likely to increase. As a reminder, Econo has put together a quick list of child car safety tips to help you prepare for those long summer trips or quick trips around town.
1. BUCKLE UP!
We put this in caps because it is the most important, basic tip for everyone and not just the kids! In nearly 50% of all traffic fatalities the deceased was not wearing a seat belt. Let that sink in. When you see those scary statistics on electronic billboards above the freeway, just think – a lot of those people would be alive today had they been wearing their seat belts.
2. The Right Seat
Make sure your children are in the right type of car seat and booster seat. Babies should be rear facing and young children should be in boosters older than many people realize. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has put together very comprehensive guidelines to make sure you are in compliance and protecting your kids. They even offer reviews of car seats and a chart to help you pick the right seat for the age of your child. Check it out on the NHSTA website.
3. Be a Defensive Driver
There are more than 5 million car accidents annually in the U.S. Even in bad weather conditions, there is a responsible party (don’t drive when the forecast is bad!). Follow some basic rules going back to high school Driver’s Ed. Look both ways before entering an intersection, keep a safe distance between you and the car in front, stop a STOP signs, don’t run yellow lights, use your turn signals, etc.
4. Don’t Drive Distracted!
Texting, looking at your phone or talking on the phone with your kids in the car is not responsible. Even a 2 second look at a message on your phone or rummaging around your handbag to find a ringing cellphone can spell disaster.
5. Study Your Car Seat Manual
The manual that comes with your car seat tells you how to properly use the seat for the different ages of children using the seat. You will learn exactly how tight to make the belt for ultimate safety and the correct placement of the seat. Additionally, things like removing a heavy coat from a toddler is important as it can interfere with the belt’s ability to restrain the child in the event of a sudden stop or crash.
6. Beware of Buying a Used Car Seat
Consumer Reports recommends against buying a used car seat since you don’t know the history. It may have been involved in a crash and be compromised or outdated (seats should not be more than 5-6 years old),or have a recall. If you must, for financial reasons, buy a used seat, make sure you know everything about it and you are buying from someone you trust.
7. Don’t Forget a Car Seat in a Taxi, Rideshare or Airplane
When travelling you may forget about the car seat. DON’T! When ordering your rideshare, make sure they have a car seat or you have your own. As well, it is recommended that babies are restrained on an airplane.
8. Keep Your Car’s Maintenance Up-to-date
Old tires and dodgy brakes are top safety hazards when driving. Don’t expose your children and others to these dangers and make sure to maintain your vehicle. Here are 5 good maintenance tips for an older car.
And of course, if your car is in need some TLC, why not stop into the nearest Econo Auto Painting location and get a free estimate. You’ve got nothing to lose!
Show Your Car Some Love…