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Saturday June 17th, 2017

Posted at 11:00am

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Did you know that over 7,000 children (ages 0-12) are hurt or killed on Canadian roadways each year?In fact, according to the Canadian Paediatric Society the leading cause of death for children is automotive accidents. Fortunately, there are a few basic precautions, in addition to being a responsible driver, you can take to help protect your most precious cargo.

  1. Lose the junk. In the event of a collision or sudden braking,garbage, toys, sippy cups and or books could fly through the air, potentially striking and injuring both you and your child. Ideally, hard objects shouldn’t be brought into the car, but if you need them, make sure to tuck them into a compartment before hitting the road; better yet leave them in the trunk. If possible keep in-car items to soft toys, if any, to reduce the threat.
  2. Kids can be just as distracting as cellphones. “DADDDD! He’s bugging me!” For those with children in their life, high-pitched screams from the backseat are likely an all too familiar occurrence and can make it difficult to concentrate on driving. Instead of banning your kids from the car, build in reaction time. For example, if you’re driving at 80-90km/h it will take the length of at least 20 cars to stop. Taking your eyes off the road for even one second or turning around to break-up a fight in the backseat could result in you rear-ending the car ahead of you. Leave two to three seconds of braking room between you and the car in front of you during good weather and three to four during bad.
  3. Monkey in the middle. The safest spot in the car is in the middle of the backseat. As your family continues to grow put the smallest child in the middle back and the bigger kids on either side. The front seat can wait, depending on their height and weight most children should ride in the backseat until at least 13 years of age.
  4. Rethink driveway play. Depending on where you live it can be hard to find space at home to play outside, but with 33.1% of back-over collisions involving a vehicle coming out of a driveway it’s crucial to find another place to enjoy the outdoors.
  5. Use car seats properly. Installing and using a car seat properly may not seem like rocket science, but the truth is that they often aren’t used or installed correctly. The first step, before you even think of installation, should be reading the manuals for both your vehicle and your car seat. If you aren’t sure or are feeling nervous there are likely car seat technicians in your community that can lend a hand. Visit www.canadiancarseatnetwork.com to find one in your area.

Interested in learning more? Call the Walker Road Allstate Agency at 519-969-4466, or better yet, feel free to stop by the office. For more helpful tips and information, visit the GOOD HANDS blog at goodhandsadvice.ca.

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