You may think your children are too young to talk to about car safety before the age of 16 or so, but it is one of the most important conversations you will have with your kids, regardless of their age. The reality is that long before your children have their learner’s permit, they will be driven around by other people, including family, friends, babysitters, and more. They are still at risk of auto accidents, long before they can drive. In fact, car accidents in Hollywood and other South Florida communities are a leading cause of injuries and fatalities involving children.
Of course, the adults in your child’s life have a responsibility to keep your child safe. However, it’s never too early to start teaching your children a healthy respect for cars and teaching them the good habits they will need for the rest of their life. From an early age, you will want to talk to them about several topics:
- Teach pedestrian safety. As soon as you start teaching your child to walk, you may want to point out red lights, green lights, stop signs, and other relevant traffic signs. This is quite simple if you turn it into a game. Review the importance of looking both ways before you cross the street and the importance of always crossing in a crosswalk. There are educational videos online that can help get the message across as well. They can be a good way to reinforce the message.
- Talk about passenger safety. Teach your child to buckle up early. Show your child that you also buckle up by ensuring you fasten your seat belt every time you get in the car. Talk to your child about what makes a good passenger. You may want to cover the importance of not distracting the driver, of keeping hands inside the car, and of being calm. Talk about how important a role child passengers play in car safety for everyone.
- Talk about driver safety. Your children will be getting in cars with all kinds of drivers, including parents, grandparents, and possibly family friends. It’s never too early to talk about what to do in case the driver seems unable to drive the vehicle safely. For example, you may want to talk about the dangers of drunk driving with middle-school children. The sooner the message is reinforced, the safer for your children.
- Talk about respect for cars. Your children are already getting messages about cars, and some of those messages are not safe. Your child may see high speed car chases, unsafe driving, stunts, and other unsafe driving practices in movies, TV shows, and in all sorts of media. Over time, this can make these behaviours seem normal. It’s important to talk to your child about the importance of being careful around cars. Be sure you talk to them about what good and safe driving looks like and model that driving for them yourself.
Has your child have been injured by an unsafe driver? Speak to a Hollywood car accident attorney by contacting Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) for a free consultation with our legal team.