Car Safety Tips
Safety with Technology
- NEVER text while driving.
- Avoid taking or making cell calls while driving. If you must, however, use a bluetooth device or other hands-free device for mobile calls.
- Avoid drinking from bottles while driving. It can be distracting and the angle at which you must hold a bottle to empty it of its contents can cause the bottle to temporarily block your vision.
The National Safety Council (USA) reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year. Nearly 330,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving. 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.
Safety with Children
Teaching your child the importance of car safety may save his or her life one day. Set rules, such as “the car will not be moving until everyone is buckled in” (including adults) and ensure that they are followed, every time. Children need to be told that a car trunk is not a playground or hiding spot, but rather, a dangerous place in which they can be trapped and seriously hurt. Taking the time to explain car safety shows you care and helps your children learn the essentials in an atmosphere that engenders dialogue and better understanding.
Below are a few essential car safety tips.
- Use age and size-appropriate car seats. Using the wrong car seat can result in serious injury to your child. Keep them securely but comfortably restrained, on the backseat, with minimum wiggle room. Children should NEVER ride in the front seat.
- NEVER leave your child unattended in a car for even a moment, even if it’s in your own driveway or garage.
- Check your driveway or garage for children or toys before backing out. Your child may run into your path to retrieve a toy at the last minute. Keep your windows down and stereo off so that you can hear an unexpected shout or alert.
- Make sure that fold-down seats are upright and locked into place so that children don’t crawl back into the trunk and become trapped.
- Use driver-controlled window and door locks to prevent children from opening them while driving.
- Keep your car free of debris, small object and other loose objects that can become deadly projectiles and cause bodily harm in the event of an accident.
Every year, hundreds of parents forget that their child is asleep in the back of the car. Keep a large teddy bear in the child’s car seat when no one’s in it. When the child is placed in the seat, put the teddy bear in the front passenger seat as a visual reminder that the child is behind you in a safety seat.
Safety with mechanics
- Do not ignore warning lights on your dashboard. Visit your mechanic and have your car inspected the minute a warning light appears.
- Follow a regular maintenance schedule and keep records
- Check your tyre pressure at least once every two weeks. Tyres can lose pressure with regular driving.
- Check your oil and fluids periodically to ensure they are at optimum levels. Running out of oil or coolant can lead to serious and expensive engine damage.