Family Car Advice: Prevent Backovers And Keep The Kids Safe Page 2

August 16, 2011

-      Children need to know, and parents need to teach them, that parked vehicles might move at any time. Tell them that even though they may be able to see the car, the driver may not be able to see them.

-      Strongly consider buying and installing safety equipment on your car such as audible collision detectors, rearview camera, cross-view mirrors and/or another type of backup detection device. If you are shopping for a new or used vehicle, opt for one that has such safety technology already installed.

-      Measure the blindzone behind all family vehicles. A 5-foot-one-inch driver in a pickup truck can have a rear blindzone of approximately eight feet wide by 50 feet long.

-      Remember that steep inclines and large SUVs, vans, minivans and pickup trucks add to the difficulty of being able to see behind a vehicle.

-      When leaving your vehicle, hold your child’s hand.

-      It’s important to teach your children that it’s never okay to play in, around or behind any vehicle.

-      Always set the vehicle’s emergency parking brake before exiting.

-      Keep all children’s toys, bikes and other sports equipment off the driveway.

-      If you own your own home, trim the landscaping on either side of the driveway so you can clearly see the sidewalk, street and any pedestrians when backing out of the driveway. This is also necessary so that pedestrians are able to see your vehicle pulling out of the driveway.

-      Never, ever leave children alone anywhere in or around cars. Time passes quickly, and even one minute could result in a tragedy.

-      Lock vehicles at all times. Even if they’re in the garage or parked on the driveway, if they’re open, they’re tempting places for children to hide or play in.

-      Place keys and remote garage door or gate openers out of sight and reach by children. Don’t ever leave them on the counter or a hallway table. That’s just inviting trouble.

-      Look throughout the vehicle before leaving it to make sure all child passengers have exited the car after you park.

-      Pay special attention to keeping children safe in and around cars during busy times, schedule changes, holidays or times of crisis.

These precautions can make a world of difference. They can save lives.

[KidsAndCars.org]

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