Throughout the year, parents are bombarded with messages from traffic safety websites and social media about how to keep yourselves and your kids as safe as possible. “Keep them in a harness as long as possible”, “The center seat is safest”, “Buy Brand X deluxe carseat”, just to name a few. The advice comes with the best intentions, but ultimately much of it is just icing on the proverbial cake. So what is the ingredient list for the actual cake? It’s simple.
Please, when driving this holiday weekend, there are only two fundamentally critical steps to the keeping-your-family-safe-on-the-road recipe:
- Drive unimpaired and undistracted
- Make sure all passengers are properly restrained with kids 12 and under in the back seat.
Those two simple steps will reduce your risk of serious injury considerably and are by far the most important things you can do to keep your kids safe.
According to the NHTSA and a recent Forbes article, Thanksgiving is one of the deadliest holidays in terms of fatal crashes. In 2012, it was the deadliest, more than Christmas or Independence Day. The main causes? You guessed it. Drunk driving and failure to wear a seatbelt.
By all means, we encourage families to keep their kids rear-facing as long as possible in a deluxe carseat in the center of their minivan. Why not take every precaution? But just the two critical steps above will save many lives. And remember, even if you won’t be drinking and driving, someone who is may be swerving at you. So don’t be looking at your phone or sending a text!
With early snowstorms and cold weather in some areas already, here are a few extra tips:
- Check windshield wipers and fluid
- Check tire condition and inflation
- Check your headlights and taillights
- Reduce speed and give yourself extra room to stop. Even the good all-season tires and AWD won’t help you stop any faster!
Please have a safe and happy Thanksgiving and Black Friday from CarseatBlog!
More tips from the NHTSA – Images courtesy of NHTSA.