There’s nothing like becoming a parent for the first time. Your whole life literally changes before your eyes, and you also find that, going forward, every decision you make is no longer about you. Now, you have someone special to think about.
Believe it or not, studies have shown that many parents are more nervous about driving home from the hospital with a newborn than they are during the entire pregnancy, and this is for good reason.
Accidents happen, and they can happen when you least expect it. As such, it’s imperative that you follow safety guidelines to the letter in order to keep your child safe while in the vehicle.
But what are some of the best safety practices that you can employ in order to keep you and your new family safe? Here, we’ll outline a few safety tips that you should adopt in order to rest easy while you’re on the road.
Having automobile insurance is required in some form in all states, except for Virginia and New Hampshire, and even in these locations you have to pay the state for being uninsured in the event of an accident.
That said, you need insurance, and not just for legal reasons. Insurance protects you financially in the event of an accident.
The need for quality insurance becomes even more necessary when you start a family, because now you have more than just yourself (or your spouse) to think about. And you might want to take the occasional family trip. For these purposes, you’ll want to ensure that you have roadside assistance added to your policy.
The last thing you’ll want to experience is a breakdown on the road with a newborn or a younger child. This can be a stressful experience. In addition, if you don’t have adequate coverage, you might end up paying much more for towing services.
Check out www.compare.com to shop and compare quotes in order to obtain an adequate policy.
One thing that you can’t be cheap about is the safety of your newborn. And a quality safety seat is absolutely essential when driving around town.
When looking for a car seat for your newborn, you’ll want to consult the safety data which specifies weight and height requirements. These need to be strictly followed, because if you place your infant into a car seat that’s too big, this will not offer adequate protection.
The same is true for smaller car seats as these will not allow for your child to be fastened properly.
Additionally, you’ll need to adhere to the installation guide strictly, as many car seats have specifications on how to properly secure and install the seat. Along with this, as your child grows, you’ll have to upgrade your seat to accommodate height and weight. So, plan on buying a few car seats before your child can ride freely.
Perhaps the most important is the way you drive. And we all have poor driving habits that may have developed over the years.
For example, maybe you’re used to driving by yourself. If this is the case then it’s also possible that when you make sharp turns, you adjust your body as you do. Well, when you’re driving with other people in the car, you have to keep in mind that they will not react to turns and stops the same way that you do when you’re driving solo.
And you have to keep in mind that a newborn will not be able to react to stops and turns at all. As such, it becomes extremely important to slow down and ease into turns, and to come to a slow stop.
The last thing you’ll want to do is to scare your child while on the road with your driving habits, as this could make your child develop a fear of riding in the car.
One notoriously bad habit that many drivers have is to stop and run into a convenience store with the car still running. This, for a new parent, is an absolute taboo.
Not only is this action illegal in some states, but you also run the risk of having your car stolen.
Many times unscrupulous people and car thieves hang out at corner markets and gas stations just looking for an unsuspecting victim. And someone who leaves their car running while it’s out of their view is a perfect target for these individuals.
The last thing you’ll want to have happen is having your car stolen while your newborn is in the car. Can you imagine the feeling? Believe it or not, this has happened many times across the country.
Additionally, you may leave your car running and manually lock it before exiting just by force of habit. Or, you might shut the car off and leave your keys in the car and accidentally lock the door. Regardless, the point is that you should never leave a newborn in the car unattended.
It might be a hassle to get your child out of the car and take him or her into the store with you just to buy a Coke or whatever you might need at the time, but you’ll be doing yourself a favor and obeying the law when you do.
All too often across the United States, parents are arrested or fined for leaving a child in the car unattended. And some have even gone to prison because of their child dying from heat exhaustion due to the parent leaving them locked in a hot car.
Don’t take convenience over safety, especially when it comes to your children. And you might even ask yourself, do I really need to stop for that Coke?
Becoming a new parent is a dream come true for many. But this comes along with great responsibility. So at the end of the day, play it safe always, and ensure that you’re following all safety guidelines regarding riding with children.