Many parents feel their children are safest when they are with them, especially when they are transporting them around the Knoxville area. However, car accidents kill more children each year than any other cause in the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2014 alone, more than “121,350 kids were injured in vehicle collisions.” 

Some parents drive so much that it feels like second nature to them. They become so used to navigating the streets while distracted and driving recklessly alone, that when their children are with them, they forget to readjust their driving behaviors to protect them. There are many variables that create hazardous conditions that are ripe for car accidents. Alcohol, drugs, distractions, inexperience and recklessness are just a few factors that parents should keep in mind about other drivers. 

Parents themselves should consider the following actions to protect their kids’ health and lives while they are in their vehicles. 

Use proper car seats and installation techniques – Car seats should be properly secured and installed to keep kids from becoming airborne during collisions. Parents should check the belts and straps on their kids’ car seats before they place their children in them to prevent issues that can affect their safety. They should also review local child car seat laws and stop by their local fire or law enforcement agency to have their car and booster seat installation inspected. 

Inspect their vehicles for defects – Some car accidents that cause major injury and death happen when there are repair and maintenance issues and vehicle defects. Parents should not drive their kids around in vehicles that are not up-to-date on service and repairs. They should inspect their cars before each trip to ensure that all functions and features are working properly. 

Keep children out of the front seat – Many parents believe that when their kids appear to be too big for car seats they are large enough to ride in the front of their cars. However, children who are under the age of 12 are safest when they ride in the back seat. 

Drive safely – Parents and guardians should reevaluate their driving behaviors. They should leave all distractions alone while they are driving. They should also pay close attention to other motorists and the streets so they can avoid dangerous drivers and conditions. 

Children are smaller than adults. Their bodies are not made to withstand car accidents. There are safety features, car seats and other things parents can do to avoid accidents while their kids are in their cars. Parents and guardians should review the above safety suggestions often to keep their kids from becoming injured and killed in motor vehicle wrecks.