Every year, more than 4.4 million Americans sustain serious injuries in road accidents in the U.S. When using the road it is important to not only ensure that you adhere to the rules of the road, but take other necessary safety precautions as well. When your family is riding in the car together, your vehicle basically becomes a mobile family room, and it's important as the driver to do whatever it takes to keep everyone out of harm’s way. Although not all accidents can be avoided, there are a number of things you can do to ensure that your family stays as safe as possible when traveling on the road.
Ensure everyone is buckled-up
One of the simplest and most efficient ways to ensure your family’s safety while traveling in a car is to confirm that everyone is securely buckled-up. In fact, seat belts are so good at keeping you safe that they save more than 15,000 lives in the U.S. every year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Wearing a seatbelt not only prevents you from hitting the windscreen, but also from being thrown out of the vehicle and around its interior. Three-point lap and diagonal seat-belt s are, however, not suitable for children. Babies should always be safely secured in a suitable baby eat while toddlers and older children need to make use of safety- or booster seats until such a time that an adult seat belt can be safely used.
Prepare for the unexpected
Although breaking down by the side of the road or being in an accident are not things we want to think about, it is important to be as prepared as possible for any emergency. Always have an emergency kit in your vehicle that includes jumper cables, tire-changing tools, water, and a first aid kit. Make sure that your insurance coverage is up to date at all times and keep copies of essential documentation with you. It is also important to have a number on-hand such as 1-800-injured in case you are involved in a car accident and need of legal advice. Even if no one suffered any obvious injuries and your car seems fine, it is always good to have someone you can call o should the need arise.
Scour the entire car for hazards
Children are inherently inquisitive and will fiddle with anything they can get their hands on. For this reason, it is vital to make sure no choking hazards or harmful substances are kept within reach of a curious child. This includes loose change, small toys, bottle caps, antifreeze, washer fluid, and air fresheners. Also make sure that any possible projectiles such as books, toys, and luggage are secured to prevent them from flying around the car if you have to apply the brakes suddenly or are involved in an accident. A children’s book or toy car may seem harmless but remember that anything that is not secured properly will keep moving inside the car until it connects with something – like the driver or a passenger.
Far too many accidents happen on the roads of the U.S. every year. Thankfully, by taking all the necessary safety precautions, the risk of being in an accident can be reduced to an extent.