It’s only when you have a baby that you become aware of the dangers of the world. Previously you probably hadn’t given much thought to things like choking hazards, chemicals or hopping in your car for a leisurely drive, but once you have a little one to take care of the dangers of these things are on the forefront of your mind. And when it comes to driving, even if you were previously very relaxed on the roads there are sure to be things now which worry you as a parent. If you have car safety on your mind, here are a few things to take into consideration.
Make Sure Your Car is Safe
First of all, it goes without saying that your car should be in a safe and roadworthy condition. The last thing you want is to break down in a dangerous position and put yourself, your baby and car in danger. Any strange noises or performance problems should be addressed immediately, and your car should be regularly checked and serviced to pick up any problems before they get worse.
A newer car model is likely to be safer due to improved safety features, but there are aftermarket additions from sites like PartsEngine you can have added to your current vehicle if an upgrade isn’t on the cards. Even simple things like making sure you have enough fuel can make all the difference, if your car stops in an awkward place someone could easily go into the back of you.
Get a Suitable Car Seat
A car seat will quite literally save your baby’s life in a crash, and so a good seat (that’s used properly EVERY time) is crucial. Since most accidents happen in the short journeys close to where you live, don’t be tempted to let them sit on an adult’s lap because you’re only popping round the corner. Children’s small bodies are never going to hold up well in the impact of a crash when they’re not fully supported and so it’s a risk you should never take. As well as a good car seat you also need to make sure it’s positioned correctly in the car.
You should never put your baby’s car seat in the front passenger seat as if the airbags deploy this could cause serious trauma, even death. The back middle seat has been shown to be the safest, and as we all know the car seat should be rear facing until your baby is two years old. Never buy a secondhand car seat, since this could have been dropped or damaged. It might look fine on the surface, but its performance has been altered, and won’t provide the best support in a crash.
Finally, you could have the safest car and car seat in the world, but it won’t make a difference if you aren’t driving carefully. Work on correcting any bad habits you’ve picked up over the years. Always use correct signals when turning, changing lanes and on roundabouts. Leave a good separation distance between you and the car in front in case you have to brake suddenly. Stay alert, and avoid very busy traffic unless you have to. During rush hour people can make snap decisions and do unsafe things they normally wouldn’t risk, so it’s best to avoid those hours if you can.