Parents in Portland face enormous pressure in balancing work, family, and personal obligations. With so much on their minds, it is easy to lose focus. While being somewhat distracted is understandable, it can prove dangerous behind the wheel. A leading cause of car accidents and injuries, distracted driving can put you and your children in harm’s way.
Managing Young Children While Driving
Many children spend large chunks of time driving with their parents, on their way to and from daycare or school and out running errands. Attempting to manage and attend to young children while you are driving is a major distraction and increases your car accident risks.
Recently, Child Passenger Safety Week raised awareness of the importance of keeping them properly restrained. Sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it is held during the third week of September each year. In addition to protecting your child in the event an accident does occur, safety seats can keep them from distracting you from the important task of driving. If you have small children, make sure to follow recommended guidelines:
- For infants: Use a rear-facing child safety seat specially designed for your baby’s small size and make sure it is properly secured in the back of your vehicle.
- For toddlers: Once they have outgrown infant carrier seats, you can switch to an approved front facing child car seat but make sure they continue to ride in back.
- For school age children: Up until they are roughly five feet in height and at least eight years old, a booster in the back seat should be used.
- For older children: Once they reach the age of 13, children may ride in the front seat while using seat belts and shoulder harnesses.
Reduce Parental Driving Distractions
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents on roads throughout Portland. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), anything that causes you to take your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, or your mind off the task of driving increases car accident risks.
For parents, child seats cut down on distractions but children may still clamor for attention or certain items. To protect yourself and them, follow these tips:
- Make sure infants are properly fed and changed before embarking on a car trip.
- For older children, keep them occupied with snacks or books.
- Explain to toddlers and school age children that once your vehicle is in motion, you will be unable to attend to their needs until you reach your destination.
- If you feel yourself becoming distracted over, pull over at a safe location to address the situation.
Contact Our Portland Car Accident Attorneys
At the Johnston Law Firm, P.C., we understand that for parents, nothing is more important than protecting your children. When car accidents happen, we provide the caring support and trusted legal representation you need to get compensation for injuries. To schedule a consultation, call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland car accident attorneys online today.