Having a car can really help you out when you have young children. From shopping runs to medical appointments, a vehicle removes the stress of buggies and bags. You need to be aware that, even though you follow the usual driving laws, driving with a child includes some extra requirements.
You may have questions regarding what you should do in the event of a crash, such as ‘can I seek compensation for my child when they’re involved in a car accident in New York’, or ‘does Texas have a statute of limitations for personal injury claims?’ Do your research to find out what steps to take next, and remember that different states have different rules of the road.
Thankfully, when it comes to children, most people are likely to be more on the cautious side. Over time, safety in vehicles has improved drastically. You also have better safety precautions available to children, such as better infant seats, upright child seats, booster seats, and the ability to turn off the passenger airbag for when a child seat is there.
A lot of cars now come with Isofix connectors, which can make it easier to install and remove child seats.
Depending on the state in which you reside, child seat laws may differ. Generally, until it is safe for a child to use a standard car seatbelt properly, a car seat should still be in use.
Up until the age of 16, it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that a child wears a seatbelt. Failure to do so can result in fines or other driving penalties. Most states will still require a seatbelt in adulthood and can result in a fine if this is not followed. Whether adult or child, it is always best to not drive until all passengers in your car are appropriately belted.
In some countries, you can also be fined for having the front passenger airbag on while a car seat is using that seat. This is due to the dangers that airbags can pose. Considering the speed and force with which they deploy in the event of an accident, this is understandable. An airbag could severely harm a child, as well as push a car seat back and cause potential suffocation.
A child will always be safer sat in one of the outer rear seats but, if this is not an option, then it is completely fine for them to be in the front, provided that air bag has been switched off.
Likewise, while not the law, the centre sear in the back of a vehicle is also less safe, especially if this only has a lap belt. Three-point belts are better at keeping a child protected during a crash, and minimalizing any injuries that occur.
Keeping your child safe is the utmost priority of any parent. By making sure you reduce the risks and hazards when driving, you will not only be protecting them, but also setting them up with good, safe life habits.