Rear-facing is safer than forward-facing! What about the legs??? It’s both safe AND comfortable for a rear-facing child to sit frog-legged or cross-legged. Surprisingly, forward facing kids get many more leg injuries than rear-facing kids! Convertible seats now have rear-facing weight limits of 35-50 pounds and can accommodate most kids until at least 3 rear-facing.
Tether the seat if you use the seat belt. Tether the seat if you use the lower anchors. Tether EVERY forward-facing car seat.
When someone in back rides without a seat belt, the other people who have buckled up are up to 3 times more likely to die in that same crash because now you have human missiles flying through the car.
It’s one thing to leave your diet at home when you go on vacation… it’s another to leave your child’s car seat home. See here for some suggestions for travel-friendly seats. See here for specific suggestions on taking taxis with kids – and taxi-friendly car seats.
It’s not where your hands are, it is where your head is. Talking (hands free or hand-held) increases your risk of being in a crash by 2-4x, texting 8x! Mental distractions are a significant safety issue endangering all of us on the roads – both people in the car with the distracted driver and those sharing the road.
Here’s another distraction we suggest avoiding: mirrors that allow you to see your child in the back seat. Why avoid them? They take your mind & eyes off the road and increase everyone’s chances of being in a crash.
One large study showed the center is 43% safer than the side for children, specifically because you can’t take a direct impact. The oldest child is typically the least protected (rear-facing is 5 times safer than forward-facing), so if possible keep the oldest in the center. A study of all fatal crashes in the US between 2000 and 2003 found that the person sitting in the center of the back seat had a 13% increased chance of survival than those sitting on one of the side seats in the back.