Child safety is of top priority for every parent and guardian. How can you ensure your child’s safety while riding in the car with you or on the school bus with their peers?

Children are to be protected, and one way of doing that is by ensuring their safety when riding in the car with you.

This article is a guide to help you ensure the safety of child passengers, reduce child passenger accidents and show you the first steps to take after a child passenger has suffered in a car accident. Let’s begin with some Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics.

Statistics of Motor Vehicle Accident Crashes Involving Children in the United States 

  • In 2020, 607 child passengers, ages 12 and younger, were killed in motor vehicle crashes in the United States.
  •  Sixty-three thousand were injured; of the children who were killed in a crash, 38% were not buckled up.

Parental Responsibility in Ensuring Child Passenger Safety

1. Avoid distracted driving: Habits like texting, calling, eating, and using your cell phone earpiece while driving can pose a great danger and can ultimately endanger the life of a child passenger. Other distracted driving habits like rubbernecking are equally dangerous. 

2. The back seats are for your children: Never let your child sit in front of the car. Teach your child to use the seatbelt and remain buckled while the vehicle is in motion. Every adult present should also obey this habit. This way, the child will emulate what he sees the adult exemplify. Always help your child (or any child) with seat belts when riding. In no time, they will learn to use them on their own.

3. Use safety seats for toddlers: A child below age eight should be seated in safety seats. A safety seat can protect children from sudden bumps and shocks.

4. Obey traffic and road safety rules

Children can be playful and, many times can be unpredictable. When driving with the kids, always roll up the windows and never leave them alone.

Things to constantly remind your children of: 

No child is too young or too old to be educated about car accidents and how to protect himself. Here are a few things we suggest you can remind your little one of;

  • The car is not a playground
  • Do not distract your driver
  •  Always fasten your seatbelt while onboard in the car
  • Allow the car to come to a complete stop before you disembark. Do not be on your feet when the car is moving.
  • Look well before you cross. When crossing in front of a bus or car, make sure the driver sees you
  • Do not run across the road
  • Do not throw your head or arms out the window when the car is moving.

What you should do when you are involved in a car accident with a child passenger

Halt:  After a car accident, stop the vehicle and evacuate yourself and the child from the line of danger. This is an important step after being involved in a car accident. The severity of the accident does not matter. Although most severe accidents usually require that you leave the vehicle exactly that way and wait for the police to inspect, take pictures, and do their job carefully. Moving your car from the crash scene is not a plus, but you can move yourself and other dependents. On the other hand, moving your car from the accident scene may weaken your claim. 

Keep calm, examine yourself and check to see if the child is hurt:

  1. Take a physical examination of your body and the child for any injury.
  2. Remember to stay calm. You may also want to reassure the child and keep them calm.
  3. Check on other persons involved in car accidents. You may call the local ambulance and police officer when an injury is sustained.

Wait for help and keep yourself from danger: Turning on your hazard light signals that you need help. Wait for help.

Gather information and take pictures: After ensuring that you and all others involved in the accident are free from danger, ensure you get details of the other motorist in the accident. Some very essential information to get is;

  • The driver’s phone number 
  • Driver’s address
  • The driver’s name
  • Picture of the driver’s license and other car documents

You also want to take important note of the car’s color, car type, and car make and model. Be careful enough to do this adequately and ensure that the details in the driver’s license and document match those of the persons involved in the car accident. And do not also forget to drop the necessary information about yourself.

Take pictures of the accident scene, display every angle possible, display scratches, and carefully take pictures of the affected car areas. A video can be helpful as well. Again, take pictures and videos of all possible angles.

Avoid arguments with the other driver: Avoid getting into arguments with the other driver. It is best to let the police do the interaction. To ensure safety, stay away from confrontations with the other motorist. Following a car accident, don’t dispute with anyone who was also involved in the accident. You never know the other person’s mental or physical state.

Talk to witnesses: If someone witnessed the accident, you may talk and request the eye witnesses’ personal and contact information. An eyewitness’s willingness to help will strengthen your case if you have or get one to ensure that you get the eye witness’ contact information.

Call the police to report the accident: It doesn’t matter whether the accident was minor or severe. You should contact your local police immediately after an accident and ensure you get a police report, especially if you plan on moving the case to court. A police report can help prove that the accident was not your fault.

Seek medical care: After a car accident, seek medical care with the child that was involved in the accident with you. Seeking medical care, like visiting the hospital, can help reveal latent medical conditions that may appear shortly. You might have been hurt in the accident and may not know so immediately. A doctor’s examination will help you avert dangers. See your doctor to avoid lifelong injuries or long-term effects and ensure you are properly advised and monitored.

Finally, talk to a car accident attorney

Talk to a car accident attorney to defend your case in court. An attorney will present your case, defend your claims, and help you get the compensation you deserve. Compensation for expenses like medical bills and compensation for your car repair.

Many insurance companies are spurred to action when you get a car accident attorney. 

You can contact a car accident attorney in Tampa and St Petersburg today. 

If you were involved in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence with a child passenger, you deserve to be adequately compensated. In addition, you deserve to talk to the Coleman Law Group. We understand that after a car accident lies a long road to recovery, and we will make your journey easier with our team of experienced lawyers and standard legal practice.

Let us know what your case is today, and get all the help you need.

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