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Top 10 Car Safety Tips

Posted in: Blog, Installation, Tips & Tricks

1. Rear-facing as long as possible (at least age 2)

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. 

See here for more info on tip #1.

4.5y, 22m, 16m - all rear-facing in Clek Foonfs

4.5y, 22m, 16m – all rear-facing in Clek Foonfs

2. Tether every forward-facing car seat

betterwithtetherThe tether, a strap that secures the top of the forward-facing child’s car seat to an anchor in the back of the vehicle, will decrease how far the child’s head moves forward in a crash by 6-8 inches!

Tether the seat if you use the seat belt. Tether the seat if you use the lower anchors. Tether EVERY forward-facing car seat.

See here for more info on tip #2.

3. Boosters until kids pass 5 step test

See here for more info on tip #3.

4. Everyone buckles up (even adults in back)

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.

See here for more info on tip #4.

 5. Remove bulk (coats, etc) before buckling

deceptionoffluff

See here for more info on tip #5.

6. Keep straps SNUG (it’s a safety restraint)

7. Always use a seat (even on vacation)

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.

8. Have trained tech check installation

With a misuse rate of 90%, car seats are more challenging than most parents realize (studies show the average car seat has 3 mistakes). Go here or here to find someone trained in your area.

9. Never text/talk (even hands free) on phone while driving

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.

See here for more info on tip #9.

10. Center is safest. Keep oldest kid there, usually.

IMG_7533One 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. 

See here for more info on tip #10.

2 Responses to “Top 10 Car Safety Tips”

  1. Miriam says:

    Oldest child in the center even if the center seat is lap belt only? I specifically put the installed car seats on those positions instead of the LATCH positions to free up shoulder belts for the big kids. (15 passenger van, only 11 shoulder belts, often more than 11 passengers.)

    • Miriam – as noted in the tips, it says “usually”… as there are exceptions. In the article on center vs side – https://thecarseatlady.com/center-or-side/ – it discusses this very issue in more detail. If you have a lap only belt (something that is not allowed in any vehicle 2008 and newer) you should put a car seat with a 5 point harness there. You are doing the correct thing.