While cars are an important tool for transporting our children and getting them to and fro, cars have the potential to be dangerous. And when an accident involving a car and a child occurs, the results are often tragic, leaving parents devastated about the accident and wondering whether or not there is anything they could have done to prevent it. If you have a child or are responsible for caring for a child in South Carolina, prioritizing car safety is a must. Here are some car safety tips for children to keep in mind–

Discourage Children from Playing Around Parked Vehicles

One of the most tragic types of accidents, yet an accident that happens every year in the United States, is when a driver backs up over a child they did not see. KidsandCars.org reports that every year, thousands of children are killed or seriously injured as a result of this accident type, known as backover accidents.

One way to prevent this type of accident from happening is to discourage children from playing in driveways, or around parked vehicles.

If you are the driver of a car, it is your responsibility to check if there is anything – or anyone – behind, under, or around your vehicle before entering it, turning it on, or moving it. If there are kids in your family or in your neighborhood, always check around your car before driving.

Make Sure Children Use Appropriate Child Safety Seats

Another tip for protecting children in and around cars is to be sure that your child uses a child safety seat that is appropriate for their age, height, and weight, and that has received a high safety rating. Refer to Consumer Reports’ page on car seats to learn more about how to choose the right car seat for your child, and how to ensure that your child is properly restrained within a car seat. You can also use the site to compare different car seats’ safety ratings.

If your child is past car seat age, be sure that they buckle up every time they are in the car. Many children complain about wearing their seatbelt, sometimes saying that is is uncomfortable. No matter how much your child fights you on it, the use of a seatbelt is a must. Try to find ways to incentivize seatbelt use if your child is having a hard time accepting the requirement.

Never Leave a Child Unattended in a Vehicle

Every year, there are stories about children who die in vehicles as a result of being left unattended – sometimes, it only takes a matter of minutes for a child’s body to overheat to the point of death. No matter the outdoor temperature, however, you should never leave a child in a vehicle unattended, even if you think that it will only be for a moment. Leaving a child in a vehicle unattended is extremely risky, and could lead to tragic consequences.

Talk To Your Child About Safety Around Streets and Vehicles

As soon as your child is able to walk on their own, it is time to have a conversation about safety around cars; it only takes a moment for a young child to run into the street. Teach your child to never enter the street without holding the hand of an adult, to walk – rather than run – when crossing the street to reduce the risk of a fall, to play in areas that are a safe distance away from cars, and to look and listen for cars before entering a street. Remember that riding a bike safely around cars and streets is also an important conversation to have. If your child is of an age where they are riding a bike, make sure they always wear a helmet.

Practice Safe Driving Techniques

If you are operating a car that has a child within, you have a duty to protect that child by practicing safe driving techniques. In fact, driving defensively is one of the best ways that you can protect a child and reduce the risk of being in a car accident. Always follow the speed limit or travel at a speed that is safe for conditions, follow posted traffic laws, never drive aggressively, and never drive while impaired.

We Are there for Your Family After an Accident Involving Your Child

We hope that you never need our services, and that your child has a healthy life free from any serious injuries. If your child is injured in any type of accident involving a car, our talented car accident attorneys are here to support your family throughout the claims process. We know how terrible an accident involving a child is, and will do everything possible to help your family recover the compensation you deserve.

To learn more, please contact us today. We never charge for a consultation or information.

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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