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Top ten child safety tips for drivers

publication date: Feb 20, 2010
car accidentIn 2008, 124 children (including pedestrians) were killed on Britain's roads, a rise of 2 per cent  on 2007. Not including pedestrian accidents, a total of 482 children* were killed or seriously injured on roads in the same year while at least eight children were killed on driveways¹.

Anecdotal evidence points to a number of bad driving habits by parents and guardians contributing to these accident statistics plus the trust that parents often put in their nanny's, au pair's or child minder's driving abilities can often be misplaced.

Drive Alive offers top ten driving tips for parents and carers
  1. Front up on the driveway – on your driveway, park facing towards the road (reverse in rather than reverse out).
  2. Seat safely – child seats should ideally be situated on the nearside of the car (not behind the driver's seat as this usually means having to let the children out on the offside or roadside of the car).
  3. Don't double up at the school drop off – always park safely and never be tempted to double park which forces children to get out of the car on the offside of the vehicle, directly into the traffic flow.
  4. Be secure – child safety locks keep you in control.
  5. Don't be distracted – however difficult it is to ignore a child's demands when driving, your safety and your children's safety depends on it. Pull over when safe to do so.
  6. Don't have loose objects in the car – groceries, mobile phones or anything stored loose on a back seat or parcel shelf will not only be a distraction but can be a major hazard in the event of a crash when even small items can hit car occupants with tremendous force.
  7. Parking – don't park facing into oncoming traffic. Apply the handbrake and leave the car in gear in case the handbrake fails. On a hill turn the steering wheel into the kerb again in case the handbrake fails.
  8. Safety starts on the outside – if you have more than one child, make sure they remain safely on the kerb side while you attend to the other child(ren) in the car.
  9. Airbags – check your child is not just old enough, but big enough to sit in the front seat. Airbags can cause more harm than good and you should check the manufacturer's recommendations.
  10. Take up driving references – If you employ a nanny, au pair or child minder don't simply ask to see their driving licence, ask them to drive you and see for yourself how good their driving is.

¹RoSPA  July 2009

If you would like more information about Drive Alive visit: www.drivealive.co.uk