According to the CDC, motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of child deaths here in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and across the United States. In busy tourist towns like New Bedford, Providence and Warren these numbers can increase during the summer months due to an influx of, multitasking parents, dangerously hot weather conditions, and distracted drivers heading to places like Roger Williams Zoo, Battleship Cove or to catch an outdoor concert over at Bold Point Park in East Providence. Here are some child passenger safety tips help your family have a safe and happy summer vacation.
Seat Belts Save Lives
Unrestrained or improperly restrained children are far more likely to sustain catastrophic injuries, or even be killed in the event of a car accident. Be sure to follow these rules when buckling up your children:
- Children must be in a federally approved child passenger restraint that is properly fastened and secured until they are 8 years old OR over 57″ tall.
- Children ages 8 through 12 must wear a properly fastened safety belt.
- A police officer can stop your vehicle if a child age 12 or under is not properly restrained.
Child Car Seats
Car seats save lives when they are installed properly. At least 8 out of 10 children in a child safety seat are not buckled in properly. Learn to correctly use the car seat by reviewing the instructions from the seat manufacturer as well as the vehicle owner’s manual. These are some guidelines for Child Car Seats:
- Rear-facing Seats in the back seat from birth to at least 1 year old and at least 20 pounds.
- Forward-facing Toddler Seats in the back seat from age 1 and 20 pounds to about age 4 and 40 pounds.
- Booster Seats in the back seat from about age 4 to at least age 8, unless 4’9″ tall.
- Safety Belts at age 8 and older or taller than 4’9″ (or 57 inches). All children age 12 and under should ride in the back seat.
Never Leave a Child Unattended In A Vehicle
We read about it in the news all too often, but people do leave there children in their hot car through actually forgetting about them or just irresponsibly deciding that they will be okay for a while. According to recent recent reports by the safety organization Kids and Cars, an average of 37 children die in the United States each year due to being left in a hot car.
Avoid Distracted Driving
One of the most common types of driving distractions can be your passengers and that goes double when those passengers are your children. Parenting from the driver seat can take your attention off of the road and cause a car accident, auto-pedestrian accident or auto-bicycle accident. For the safety of yourself, your children and others on the road, make sure to have your children properly fastened in with everything they may need before you head out on the road.
Contact An Experienced New Bedford & Providence Car Accident Attorney
We hope that these tips keep you and your family safe, but you can’t account for the behavior of other drivers on the road. If you or a loved one have been the victim of any type of a motor vehicle accident due to a distracted driver’s negligence, contact us to speak with one of our experienced attorneys. We’ll help you to get the settlement that you deserve and help you and your family to move on after your accident.
*The above is not to be considered as legal advice. Every case is different and the laws which apply may differ from state to state.
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