If you’re traveling with children, find out how to best keep them safe. Make sure car seats and booster seats are properly installed and that any children riding with you are in the restraint system best suited to protect them. All children 12 and younger should ride in the back seat.
Click on NHTSA’s child passenger safety recommendations to find out how to select the right car seat for your child. To learn more and find a free inspection site near you, please visit www.nhtsa.gov/cps/cpsfitting/index.cfm to locate a certified technician to assist you.
Summer Safety Alert!
There are other dangers to children in and around cars that you should know. One of those dangers is hyperthermia, or heat stroke, from being left unattended in a parked vehicle. Never leave children alone in the car—not even at the convenience store with the engine running. Vehicles heat up quickly – even with a window rolled down two inches, if the outside temperature is in the low 80s°, the temperature inside the vehicle can reach deadly levels in only 10 minutes.
Vehicles can be a danger to children even if they are not in the vehicle. Make sure you walk around your vehicle before you get in it and back out of a driveway or parking spot. At that summer campground, park, near the beach, children can be running and playing—totally oblivious to a vehicle. As a driver, know that every vehicle has a blind zone. As the size and height of a vehicle increases, so does the blind zone area. Large vehicles, trucks, SUVs, RVs, and vans, are more likely to be involved in backovers than cars because they have the largest blind zones.
Make sure to lock vehicle doors at all times when not in use. Children may enter vehicles on their own because the vehicle was unlocked or the keys were left out and accessible. Many incidents can happen as a result of an unlocked vehicle.
Visit www.nhtsa.gov/KeepingKidsSafe to find out more about how to keep children safe from “nontraffic” hazards, including heat stroke, backover, power windows, vehicle rollaway, seat belt entanglement, and trunk entrapment.
Remember that long trips can be especially tough on children. Stopping along the way makes the trip easier and less tiring for them as well — and more of an adventure, too. Bring along a few favorite books or soft toys to keep the little ones content and occupied. The trip will seem to go faster for them, perhaps lessen the number of times they ask, “Are we there yet?” and let you keep your attention on driving better.