One of the great misconceptions is that booster seats are just for little, little kids. Sure, they are vital for children under the age of four but many parents feel as thought they should be phased out after that.
However, when parents do not follow the advice of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, state law, and car seat makers, there is a risk. All parents need to lower that risk as much as possible.
That’s why we here at Ehline Law wrote this article. Our firm represented thousands of families through car accident issues. We know what it is like to deal with such issues and we stand firmly with you. We write this column to inform parents and prevent terrible tragedies.
Making Sure to Choose the Right Seat
It’s not always black and white. In fact, there are certain ages and weights where it is not so clear whether a kid should sit in a special booster seat. This is where the advice of experts comes in handy. In most cars, 4 feet 9 inches is the minimum height to start using the traditional three point belt. Using it when shorter causes potential injury, including decapitation. Even worse, in some cases where the wrong belt is worn, airbag damage is also possible.
There are several options available. A seat belt positioner is one that allows for shorter people to use the regular belt. In other cases, a booster seat might still be needed. I’m not talking about the big one you lugged for your three years old. A smaller, NHTSA-approved booster can ensure that your little one is tall enough to use the seat belt efficiently. Each one of these options ensures a safer and more enjoyable experience for everyone. They might not be too thrilled with using a booster, but you’ll both be glad that you did.
Using Your Car with Children
A Different Experience for Parents
Sometimes you don’t know just how much having kids will change your life until you do. Some of the changes are a bit more subtle. Some you don’t think about until after they happen. A good example is preparing a car for young ones. Often this is one of the last thoughts on your mind. Perhaps you picked out the first car seat you saw and called it a day. Sorry, new parent. It’s not that easy. There’s plenty of other things to consider.
Ehline Law is proud to write this column to promote safety on the road. Our attorneys fought and won for thousands of clients harmed by car accidents. In particular, we go out of our way to help families with young people. We must prevent as many of these crashes as possible. Please help us get there.
The Many Ways a Car Changes
A car before and after parenthood might look the same from the outside. But the inside and how you drive it can change a lot. Gone are the old McDonald’s wrappers and grocery bags out of the back seat. Here comes the new child’s car seat. With all of the changes, there’s a couple of things you have to remember:
The right car seat means a lot. Not just any chair will do. Your child snowballs in the first several years of their life. Make sure that you have a seat that strikes a balance between comfortable and safe. Buying one approved by the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration is a very good start.
Engage child safety locks. It says it all.
Keep sharp and throwable objects out of their reach. They’ll get into anything, if you let them. Sometimes even if you hide things.
Don’t give small children food in the car. Make sure that they are used to eating outside of the vehicle, in case you cannot keep track of them. A bottle is a different story.
Keeping Your Family Safe with Your Choice of Car
Safest Models for a Young Family
You’re thinking about changing out your car to meet the needs of your expanding family. You need space and more. For a family car, you are likely looking for the safest possible vehicle for the value. Some of the safest cars on the market are also within reasonable price ranges. We’ve taken the trouble of finding some of the safest cars that are also values.
Read on further and learn some of the ways to keep your family safe.
Choosing the Right Vehicle
It’s hard to choose just one vehicle, but you’ll only be driving one with your family. US News and World Report had an article about the safest midsized SUVs on the market today.
Among the ones that might be within your price range, some may include the following.
The Honda CR-V is one of the most popular models on the road today. The 2017 model is very safe and is named one of the best all around vehicles. It is the number one best ranked SUV for both reliability and for safety. That’s really impressive. It comes with a number of features, including a forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and even more!
The Mazda CX-3 is one fo the safest models on the market– with an overall score of 9.7/10 from US News and a starting price under $20k.
The 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe has the same incredible safety rating as the Mazda above. The starting price is a little higher, but it comes with a rearview camera standard. It also has a variety of other potential features, including adaptive cruise control and lane change assist!
Take a look at these vehicles and more for a better idea of what might be appropriate in your situation.