As a parent, one of the scariest things you can ever face is to get into a car accident with your child as a passenger. If such an unfortunate thing happens, here are some of the factors that may determine your child's injuries.
Where the Child Is Sitting
This is an important issue because some seats in the car are safer for your child than others. The front seat, in particular, is particularly dangerous for children; one reason for this is because the airbags weren't designed to protect young people or work with car seats. Research shows that the back seat, specifically the back middle seat, is the safest seat in your car for your kid (for maximum safety, the full seat belt should be used). This is because it is at a reasonable distance from collision impacts whether the collision comes from the side or from the front.
The Type of Restraint Used
In addition to the child's sitting position, the type of restraint they are using also matters. Ideally, eligible children should use the correct car seats or seat boosters for their age range. For example, it is dangerous to continue using the rear-facing car seat past your child's second birthday or when they have outgrown the seat; you need to move them to a different seat configuration – the front-facing one. You should also make sure that the seats are properly installed. Kids who have outgrown seats should wear seat belts at all times and you should ensure that the seat belts fit snugly.
The Initial Point of Impact
If an accident occurs, the initial point of contact will also determine the level of injuries your child may sustain. For example, if the child is sitting in the middle back seat as they should, then a head-on collision or a side impact collision may not cause them as much injury as a rear-end collision. In most cases, however, this is not something you can control because accidents, by definition, cannot be predicted.
Tips for Staying Safe with a Child Passenger
Being in a car accident is bad enough; being in a car accident involving your beloved child is even worse. The following tips should help you stay safe when you have a child passenger:
- Don't play with the child while driving
- Ensure the child is placed in the right seat
- Don't drink and drive
- Give the child their favorite toy to distract them
- Don't let the child drive, even playfully for a short distance
Hopefully, you will never have to deal with an accident involving your beloved child. If that day comes, however, take care of your child and let a car accident lawyer take care of the injury claims for you.