As any parent knows, a baby’s safety is first and foremost above all else. However, ensuring your child’s safety at all times can be difficult, especially when there are other distractions that require your focus. Take driving with your baby for instance. It can be very stressful trying to find balance between your focus on the road and your focus on your child. Here are a few safety tips for before and while traveling with a baby.
Choose the Right Car Seat
With so many choices on the market, and the numerous car seat regulations and laws, it might be difficult to find the right car seat for your child. Be sure to have the right car seat before delivering the baby; many hospitals require it before allowing you to go home. A child below the age of two is legally required to be in a rear-facing position, but some experts believe it should be longer. Check the car seat for proper weight and age. Children from ages 4 and up should be in a forward-facing position.
The car seat should meet National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) standards and should be installed as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure that the car seat fits your vehicle as well; different model years of vehicles have different ways to install a car seat. Your local fire department can install or check your car seat for free.
Finally, you can get a convertible car seat after your infant outgrows the car seat, and do not buy a second-hand car seat, as there is no way of knowing if it had already been in an accident.
Feed and Change Before Driving
Feeding and changing your baby before departing alleviates the need to look back at your baby should they fuss or get upset. You want to always maintain focus on the road, and although it is tempting to quickly look back to see what they need, it could cause an accident. You could also plan your trips around your baby’s feeding and nap time, which will help reduce distractions for you.
If you have toys in the car to distract your child, be sure that they are secured to the car seat or elsewhere in the car, where it cannot roll up front to you or become flying debris should you have to stop suddenly.
Have Access to Amenities
Plan your trips so that there are plenty of amenities in the area should you and your baby run into an emergency, like places that have public restrooms, or you must grab something to eat or take a break. If you travel a long distance, plan on taking a break at least once an hour so you do not get drowsy, and it will give you a chance to feed and change your baby.
Distracted driving is the leading cause of car accidents in the country. Always reduce distractions when driving, especially with your child, by putting away your phone. Talking or texting while driving is one of the most dangerous things you can do and will easily put yourself and your child in harm’s way. The best place to put your phone is next to your baby, as new parents who are stressed or tired may be struggling with a new routine, even forgetting their child in the car. Having your phone in the back will help you to not forget.
Driving defensively means driving as if no one else sees you, simply by leaving enough room between yourself and other cars and anticipating other drivers’ movements. Maintain the speed limit and give others the right-of-way. It may be wise to take a defensive driving course as well, as it is one of the best ways to keep yourself and your child safe.
Egg Harbor Township Car Accident Lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm Help Families Injured by Reckless Drivers
Driving with your child can be stressful, as you try to do everything you can to keep them safe. However, accidents do occur, especially when others are driving recklessly. If you or your loved ones has been injured in an accident, contact one of our Egg Harbor Township car accident lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm right away. Call us at 609-926-3300 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, we serve clients in Atlantic City, Linwood, Galloway Township, Cape May, Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton, Ocean City, and Woodbury.