Driving with a baby in the car can be a very stressful experience, especially for new parents. But the good news is that there are so many ways to stay safe and protect your child at all times while driving in a vehicle.
Here are some tips to help you drive safely and worry less about your little one.
First, buy a dependable infant car seat–it is required by law before the baby leaves the hospital for the first time. The infant car seat, particularly rear-facing, protects the baby from injuries in the event of an accident and reduces fatalities by 71%. After age two, the baby advances to a toddler car seat.
The car seat should meet all NHTSA safety standards and be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Test the car seat before use and make sure it fits with your car, sometimes they don’t work together due to space differences. And, of course, your baby should be properly strapped in.
When a baby starts fussing your instinct is to immediately take your eyes off the road and look at your baby. While babies are unpredictable and accidents can happen at any time, it is best to feed and change your baby before you get in the car. If it is possible, try and time your trips around their nap times, or when they are tired. Never try to feed your baby when driving, pullover first.
Defensive driving means you are prepared to react to the unexpected, all while staying alert and maintaining a safe speed.
Install a mirror in the back seat so you can see your child with a quick glance in the rearview mirror. The mirror will keep you from turning around to check on them while taking your eyes off the road.
If possible, avoid driving alone with your baby and bring a friend or your partner with you. If there’s another adult on board, take turns at the wheel — one drives, one entertains the child.
It’s always bad to talk and drive and even worse to text and drive. When you also have a baby to think about, not much of your brain is left for concentrating on the road. Turn your phone off all together.
You don’t want to put on the brakes to pick up a dropped lovey every few blocks. Use a tether or set of plastic links to attach some toys to the seat so the baby is constantly entertained…and so nothing falls to the floor to cue crying.
It’s always better to be cautious while driving, especially with a baby. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash, contact our team of attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C. today.
Peter Paul Olszewski, Jr., a shareholder and managing partner at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C., brings 37 years of litigation experience. He is a renowned trial lawyer in Pennsylvania, specializing in medical malpractice, personal injury, and criminal defense. Peter's notable achievements include securing multi-million-dollar verdicts and serving as District Attorney and Judge. He is committed to community involvement and is actively engaged in various legal associations.
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