In Coral Gables and across South Florida, parents and caretakers routinely take children to doctor’s appointments, school, after-school events, and on trips. Many drivers don’t consider that being a passenger is one of the riskiest moments of a child’s life, with car collisions being a leading cause of childhood injury in Coral Gables and Florida.
Unfortunately, child passengers are especially vulnerable in car collisions. Their smaller size can mean they are risk of serious injury and cars are created for adult passengers, so children can sustain serious injuries if they don’t have child-appropriate safety seats. A serious injury can also impact a child’s entire life and even affect future career and personal opportunities, so the losses of child injuries can be very high.
Preventing Childhood Injury in Car Collisions
There are several ways you can keep child passengers safer:
- Be choosy about who drives your child: Anyone who drives your child – whether they are a family member, school official, babysitter, or anyone else – should be carefully vetted. Check driving backgrounds and ask about previous collisions to ensure your child is only driven around by safe drivers.
- Use appropriate child restraint systems: Your child may need a safety seat, booster seat, or other restraint system until they are at least 4’9” in height or eight years old. Read the instructions for restraint systems carefully and always follow the directions for installation and use. If you are unsure, some local fire stations help parents set up safety seats correctly. When driving with your child, always keep your child in the back seat. For passengers under 5’0, airbags in the front passenger seat can be unsafe.
- Don’t let your child distract you: Children can get restless on long trips, and if they become a distraction, it can increase your risk of a crash. Give your child something to do to keep them entertained.
- Keep loose items out of the car: Items such as laptops, books, cameras, and other objects can become airborne during a crash and can hit your child, causing fractures, head injuries, and other potentially devastating injuries.
- Use your car’s technology: Get familiar with your car’s owner manual and learn about features – such as rear door locks – to keep your child safe.
- Use a system for remembering your child: A very tragic form of childhood injury involves children being left in cars. In Florida heat, it can take seconds for the interior of a car to heat to dangerous temperatures. Leaving a child in a car can happen to anyone, so develop a habit of checking the rear seat every time you get out of the car or place your phone or other item in the rear seat so you will need to retrieve it.
If your child was injured in a car collision caused by someone’s negligence, contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) for a free consultation with a Coral Gables car accident claims attorney. Our compassionate legal team has recovered tens of millions of dollars on behalf of thousands of plaintiffs and we’d be pleased to discuss your potential claim in a free, discreet case review.