When out running your errands or taking a road trip, you will want your young ones tagging along in the car. Well, if they are minors by age, having one or a few car safety seats is a huge plus for many reasons. For starters, they are an absolute must if you need to take rides occasionally with your newborn or post-infant baby. Since they grow really fast, you may occasionally need to replace their car seats to ensure comfort, safety, and convenience when traveling with your bundle of joy.
But there’s a lot of fuss surrounding child car seats. You will come across questions such as “are car seats really worth it?” “Are seat belts not enough?” “Why must I choose the right car seat when traveling with a young one?” Simply put, it all revolves around enhancing safety and comfort for your child, who might be too young to realize the dangers attached to being a passenger.
Read on to discover the top six reasons why you must use a car seat for your child while driving.
1. Car Seats Can Save Lives
A car seat can indeed save a child’s life. According to a CDC report of 2019, approximately 608 minors aged 12 years and below lost their lives as passengers in car crashes. More than 91K suffered injuries, almost 62% of whom were properly buckled up before or during the accident.
The best part is that these deaths are preventable when car seats and safety restraints are involved. Reports from the same source indicate that child fatalities in road accidents could be slashed by more than 50 - 70 percent when car safety seats are used appropriately for toddlers and infants, respectively. The numbers are even better if these seats are used in conjunction with car safety belts so the latter doesn’t cause harm to the child passenger.
2. They Reduce the Occurrence and Severity of Injuries
As mentioned above, the number of children injured in car crashes and collisions in past years is quite alarming. As opposed to using seat belts alone, using booster seats can help reduce the risk of injury to kids between 4 and 8 years by a whopping 45 percent. Overall, car seats help reduce car crash-related injuries by 70-80% or more.
This means that the stakes are even better if the car seats are age-appropriate, seat belts are utilized, and booster seats are used. They might not be foolproof, but indeed, car seats are fundamental in the event of a car crash. If you or a loved one ever gets involved in a car wreck, don’t hesitate to contact a seasoned car accident attorney. They will help you recover the damages you might have suffered, including medical costs, lost wages, pain, and suffering.
3. They Enhance Comfort
When traveling with your child, you want them to feel as if they’re lying in their crib back at the nursery. Many moms and dads will even go the extra mile and get a pram or boogie for those trips in and out of the mall. Thankfully, car seats are designed to offer a great degree of comfort to your young one; they will barely feel the impact when traversing a bumpy road in the country.
Modern child car seat versions are designed with harnesses and restraints that keep your infant, toddler, or child in place without causing discomfort. Many of them feature recline capabilities, suitable for babies who are not old enough to sit upright and stable. Your child can have the sleep of their life in a car seat, giving mommy or daddy enough time to concentrate on the road.
4. Car Seats Improve Your Concentration on the Road
Distracted driving is by far among the most common causes of road accidents. While most such accidents occur when texting and driving, a crying baby at the backseat is enough to put your focus off the road. If your kid is properly buckled up and comfortable in a quality child safety seat, however, your fears are greatly reduced. The chances of succumbing to fatal distractions are minimized. This alone is enough to reduce your chances of getting involved in an accident when riding with your kid in the back seat.
Now, let’s be honest for a minute. Having a child in your car isn’t the only thing that could impede your concentration on the road. To keep your senses sharp and maintain reliable focus while driving with/without kids, here are some things you can do:
Avoid driving while intoxicated
Don’t use your phone while driving
Keep your eyes on the road
Don’t eat while driving
Pull over when feeling sick or drowsy
Don’t multitask while on the move
Limit the activities inside your car – including from other passengers
5. They Are Cost-Effective
As established earlier, car seats go a long way in reducing premature deaths and child injuries related to car accidents. Annually, this means millions in savings on medical and funeral expenses. A child safety seat that costs a mere 80 bucks could amount to 75% of costs saved. The best part is that the savings are shared between citizens, governments, and insurers. For instance, CSN estimates indicate that each child safety seat saves the society a total of $330, taxes, insurance, and medical costs included.
6. It Is a Legal Requirement
Finally, the law requires you to uphold safety measures when driving with a minor in your car. In many places, these are called child restraint laws, and they can attract hefty penalties if broken. As a parent, guardian, or chauffeur behind the wheel, it is your responsibility to ensure that minors are comfortable and safe when ferrying them from point A to point B. Each state has its own penalties under child passenger safety laws, so you are better off knowing the risks involved.
Finally, it helps to mention that car seats come in different sizes, shapes, materials, and qualities. When in the market for a car seat, always make sure to choose a tested and approved version. It should be designed to suit your kid’s age and height. Also, it is best to go for a car seat with side-impact protection, considering the duration of use. If you’re looking at longer usage, go for plenty of legroom and ensure installation is easy.