As a parent, one of the worst things you can imagine is your child getting injured in an accident. Unfortunately, while we can do a lot to protect our children, we cannot protect them from everything, and there are some dangers that are simply beyond our control.
This includes the fact that some people will choose to drive dangerously despite knowing that there are families and children on the road.
10 Ways to Help Your Child Avoid Serious Injuries in a Car Accident
But, while we cannot protect our children from everything, there are steps we can take to minimize their risk of suffering a serious injury as much as possible. For example, here are 10 ways you can help protect your child from being injured in a car accident:
1. Make Sure You Have a Safe Car Seat or Booster
Infants, toddlers and young children need to ride in car seats or boosters—and there are a couple of reasons why. Car seats and boosters ensure that children are buckled into size-appropriate seatbelts. They also ensure that children’s heads are not dangerously close to side-impact airbags. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides tips that parents can follow to choose an appropriate car seat or booster for their children.
2. Put Your Phone Out of Reach
Distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents in Florida. If you are distracted behind the wheel, you could miss spotting dangers that you could—and perhaps should—have avoided. To avoid driving while distracted, put your phone out of reach. Turn off your notifications so you aren’t tempted to check them while you are driving, and if you truly need to make a call or send a text, find a safe place where you can park for a few minutes.
3. Know the Signs of Distracted Driving
Of course, even if you are not distracted, other drivers will be. With this in mind, it is important to know the signs of distracted driving as a parent. If you observe another vehicle doing any of the following, you should do your best to stay a safe distance away:
- Drifting from one side of the lane to the other
- Drifting onto the shoulder or median
- Slowing down for no other obvious reason
- Failing to go when a light turns green
- Failing to brake with the normal flow of traffic
4. Know the Signs of Drowsy Driving
Drowsy driving is a common cause of car accidents in Florida as well. While drowsy driving accidents are most common in the morning and late at night, drivers can be tired any time of day. The signs of drowsy driving are similar to the signs of distracted driving, and regardless of why a driver is being unsafe, it is best to stay away.
5. Know the Signs of Drunk Driving
Each year, drunk drivers kill thousands of innocent people and cause hundreds of thousands of injuries. Despite being illegal (and obviously very dangerous), far too many people still choose to drink and drive. As a parent in Florida, it is also important to know the signs of drunk driving—which include:
- Failing to maintain a consistent speed
- Weaving across the road
- Driving off of the road
- Running red lights and stop signs
- Slamming on the brakes instead of coming to a gradual stop
6. When In Doubt, Be Cautious
When driving with children in the vehicle, it is always best to err on the side of caution. If you see a driver who you think may be distracted, drowsy or drunk, you should avoid them—even if this means slowing down. Other ways you can be cautious when driving with children include:
- Double-check before entering an intersection (even if you have a green light)
- Slow down when driving with sun glare or in heavy rain
- Avoid potholes, gravel and debris in the roadway
- If you aren’t familiar with your route, set your GPS directions before driving
- Be proactive about your car’s maintenance (i.e., don’t wait to get your car’s worn tires or squeaky brake pads replaced)
7. Leave Plenty of Buffer in Front of You
Tailgating is never a good idea. It is unnecessary in virtually all circumstances, and it significantly increases your risk of being involved in a front-end collision that could injure your child. If someone cuts you off, ease off of the accelerator for a couple of seconds to re-establish a safe buffer in front of you.
8. Let Tailgaters Pass
Similarly, if you are being tailgated, change lanes to let the tailgater pass, if possible. If someone has decided to tailgate you, there is a good chance they will make other bad decisions as well, and these bad decisions could end up injuring your child.
9. Avoid Other Drivers’ Blind Spots
Distracted and careless drivers frequently cause accidents by changing lanes without checking their blind spots. With this in mind, parents should avoid driving in others’ blind spots when possible. While many modern cars have blind spot monitoring, this is still a relatively new technology—and even it isn’t enough to prevent blind spot accidents 100 percent of the time.
10. Seek Help Immediately After an Accident
Finally, if you get in a car accident while driving with your child, you should seek help immediately. This means taking your child (and yourself) for diagnosis and treatment, and it means speaking with a lawyer about your family’s legal rights as soon as possible. Parents can recover financial compensation for car accidents in many cases, and if your child has suffered serious injuries in an accident, recovering this compensation could be crucial for your family’s financial stability and your child’s long-term well-being.
Get Help from the Car Accident Lawyers at Maus Law Firm in Fort Lauderdale
If you need to know more about how to protect your child after a serious car accident in Florida, we encourage you to speak with one of our lawyers today. For a free, no-obligation consultation at Maus Law Firm, call 954-784-6310 or tell us how we can reach you online now.