Driving with an infant can be nerve-wracking, even for the most seasoned motorist. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to protect young passengers whether you are taking a drive around the block or going on an extended road trip.
Change and Feed the Baby Before Leaving
A content baby is less likely to fuss, and fussing and crying can be dangerous for the driver. Consider the fact that a distracted driving accident can happen in as little as two to three seconds. Anything that diverts the driver’s attention from the road can result in a car accident.
Whether your baby dropped their pacifier, or you think they may be hungry, resist the urge to attend to them while you are driving. Unless it is a medical emergency, wait until it is safe to stop, pull over, and park before caring for your little one.
Pack the Essentials
Infants require a lot of “stuff,” even for the shortest road trip. If you have enough food, clean clothes, diapers, wipes, and toys for your journey, you can possibly avoid unnecessary stops along the way to your destination. That is good news for the baby, who is content to play peacefully or catch some shut-eye in their child safety seat.
Before you leave, take a few minutes to become familiar with your route, and check for any issues that can interfere with your plans. Road construction, motor vehicle accidents, and severe weather can delay your trip and increase the risk of a crash.
Accidents are also more common at night and during rush hour, so avoid these times if possible. Minor adjustments to your itinerary may help you circumvent traffic hazards for a safe and relaxing drive.
Use the Proper Car Seat
Although this tip was saved for last, it is actually the most important. It is essential that children are restrained in the right child safety seat for their age, size, and weight. Seat belts are intended to fit adults. They are not designed to protect smaller bodies.
Children under the age of 2 years old must ride in a rear-facing car seat until they reach the height and weight limits of their specific seat. You can find this information on the product label and instruction manual.
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 130,000 children were injured in motor vehicle accidents nationwide in 2020. Your child does not have to be a statistic. For a safe and enjoyable drive, obey local traffic laws, stay attentive and alert, and follow the tips above.
Neptune Car Accident Lawyer at Mikita & Roccanova Helps Families Harmed by Careless Drivers
If your child is dealing with a life-changing injury that was caused by a reckless driver, speak with our Neptune car accident lawyer at Mikita & Roccanova for legal assistance. Call us at 732-705-3363 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Located in Hazlet and Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients in Ocean County, Sussex County, Neptune, Middlesex County, and Pennsylvania.