When you have precious cargo in your vehicle, you want to make sure you’re taking steps to keep everyone as safe as possible. Unfortunately, that’s not always as easy as it sounds. As a new parent, you may feel overwhelmed with all of the information that comes your way. Do you want to stay safer in the car with your baby? Follow these key safety tips.
1. Know your state’s car seat regulations (and make sure you’re following them).
Get to know safe car seat regulations, including how long your child should remain rear-facing (in most states, it’s between one and two years, but some experts recommend rear-facing until four). Babies’ bones are not yet fused as well as adult bones, and little ones can suffer much more severe injury in an accident. A rear-facing seat can protect your baby’s head and neck and reduce the risk of severe injury.
2. Check baby’s car seat to be sure it works in your car.
Not all car seats are compatible with all vehicles. Well before the time comes for baby to arrive, you need to test your car seat in your vehicle–including whether it will fit with any seats you may already have in the vehicle. If you can’t get a snug fit in your seat that puts your baby at the right angle, you may need to use a different seat. Avoid using aftermarket parts to “make the seat work,” since they may compress unexpectedly in an accident and lead to serious injury. And speaking of aftermarket parts…
3. Avoid adding “extras” to your car seat.
While toys attached to the car seat are fine (and actually offer a great way to prevent dropped toys, crying babies, and an increased accident risk when you reach back to grab the dropped toy), other extras can pose a serious danger to your little one. Those cute strap covers, for example, may look much more cozy, but they can also prevent the straps from holding your baby securely in an accident. If it doesn’t come directly from the manufacturer, never put an item between your baby and the car seat or straps.
4. Never put baby in puffy sleepers or coats in the car seat.
Puffy coats are often a point of contention for parents in colder climates–or on those cold mornings when you have to get up and moving earlier than you’d like. While you want your child to be warm, those puffy coats can compress considerably in an accident and prevent the straps of the car seat from holding your little one in place properly. Instead, try putting your little one in the car seat, then putting the coat on backwards over the car seat straps. You could also use a car seat blanket to help keep baby warm and cozy–just make sure it goes over, not under, the car seat straps.
5. Always do a pinch test on the car seat straps.
If you can pinch the fabric between your fingers and bring them together with straps on both sides, the straps may be too loose for your little one. Those tight straps can be a life saver in an accident!
6. Do your best to make your baby happy before you get behind the wheel.
Take care of feeding, changing, and other necessary tasks before you start driving. An unhappy baby can mean a distracted parent–and that can spell disaster behind the wheel.
7. Do not try to feed the baby, reach back to grab toys, or engage in other tasks while driving.
Distracted driving can result in accidents with serious injuries–and infants can pose a potent distraction for many parents, especially if they get fussy. However, when you’re driving, you need to focus on driving. If you need to care for your baby, pull off the road first.
8. Avoid driving when you’re excessively tired.
Sleep can be hard to come by in those infant days, when your little one often needs you in the middle of the night. It’s all too easy to jump behind the wheel when you’re too tired to take on that task safely. Drowsy driving, however, can have many of the same symptoms as driving while intoxicated, including weaving on the road, failure to see other vehicles around you, and even increased risk-taking. You don’t want to take that risk with a little one in the car. Instead, call a friend or family member to help out if needed.
9. Drive defensively.
Pay attention to everyone around you. Allow other drivers to have right of way, even if it’s not necessarily their turn. Work on accident avoidance. While liability may matter in an accident, the last thing you want is for your baby to suffer a serious injury because another driver made an error. Consider learning defensive driving techniques while you’re expecting so that you can be better prepared to keep baby safe when he or she arrives.
10. Avoid unnecessary distractions behind the wheel.
Having your baby in your vehicle can pose a potent enough distraction all on its own. Any additional distractions could prevent you from focusing adequately while you’re driving. Silence your cell phone before you get in the car, avoid eating and drinking while on the road, and simply focus on the ride. Often, keeping your attention on driving alone is the critical difference between having an accident and arriving safely at your destination.
11. Leave an item you won’t forget with your baby, especially on extreme weather days.
Every year, infants die because of hot car accidents. Everyone assumes that it won’t happen to them. Often, however, those accidents occur because the parent is outside their usual routine and functioning on autopilot, often stressed or tired. If you’re off your usual routine, exhausted after several nights of short sleep, or ever forgetful, leave an item like your shoe beside your baby’s car seat as a visual reminder.
Make sure to review the post-car accident steps listed on Alvendia, Kelly & Demarest’s website to ensure your safety and protect your rights. Furthermore, if you’re in Louisiana, be sure to understand the specific laws and regulations pertaining to car accidents in the state by checking out this resource. Avoiding common mistakes after a car accident is also key, and this article provides valuable insights to help you navigate the process more smoothly. While car accidents and the subsequent legal proceedings can be stressful, taking a moment to relax and unwind with some light-hearted content, like the one found here, can sometimes make a world of difference. Finally, in these challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, if your business has been affected and you’re seeking compensation, Alvendia, Kelly & Demarest can assist you in exploring your options.
Keeping a baby safe in the car is a big job, and sometimes, other drivers will not exercise the same caution around you and your little one. If you get into an accident due to another driver’s negligence, contact Alvendia Kelly & Demarest at 504-200-0000 as soon as possible.
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In 2003, after being dissatisfied with the quality of legal care for victims of car accidents, Roderick ‘Rico’ Alvendia sought to establish a new firm focused on providing high-quality legal services to aid injured victims and their families. J. Bart Kelly, sharing Rico’s passion for upholding justice, joined the firm later that year, and established a partnership.
They helped me with every need possible. The back issues I had could have been much worse if they didn’t step in and help me. Bart, Megan, and all the people that work for this legal team are amazing. I would recommend them to anyone. Thank you all for helping me each step of the way. I can’t thank these people enough.
- T. Gibson-Warren
I want to thank the whole team for all your help and persistence with my settlement. I truly appreciate.
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Great experiences every time I need you guys. I always recommend your firm.
- W. Young
Bart and his team were wonderful to work with. It was clear that their vision and determination to fight for our case, is why we were able to reach a settlement, where my previous attorney was not.
- C. Perez
Bart Kelly and his legal team reevaluated my case after another attorney backed away from a legal challenge, I just want to say Thank You to mr kelly and his team for the hard work and dedication to my case to make it successful . Thank You
- N. Gex
Attorney Kelly is an impeccable attorney. He has represented me extremely well. I was very, very, very pleased with the outcome of my settlement. He’s highly recommended … to give assistance to anyone. I thank him for his services and I’m super elated over the way he handled the case. He is a phenomenal lawyer.
- S. Spears
I’ve learned the importance of having good coverage insurance, thanks to Mr. Kelly explaining everything to me. We do not hope or wait for accidents, but rest assured that I will call Mr. Kelly again if I need his services. Thank you.
- Ann Zimmer
Being represented by Mr. Kelly and his legal team was a very awesome experience. They were very patient and they worked really hard in resolving my case. I would most definitely refer them to all my friends and associates. Thank you very much.
- Nathaniel Bonney
I am very grateful for Mr. Bart’s assistance. He was very professional and fair. I never felt like a client with him. I always felt like a close friend. Also, I would like to thank everyone in the office for being friendly, kind, and for helping me.
- Glac Mantuso
Just want to say thanks a lot because I received way more than I expected. You guys did a wonderful job of getting the max for myself and my family. Everyone I met or spoke to on the phone was really professional and nice. Once again, thanks a lot.
- Jessica Quinn
J. Bart Kelly is the best attorney I have ever met. He is intelligent, caring, understanding, and knows how to protect his clients. I love his strong take-charge attitude to fight for what is right.
- Teri Haas
My lawyer took the time to explain everything in a clear and concise manner. I’ve been treated fairly and with the utmost respect. I am very appreciative of all of the staff at AKD for their services.
- James Barber
I am grateful for the way that my case was handled. Thanks.
- Darryl Hill
Thanks to Bart and Meg. Fantastic group of people and team. Love you guys.
- Claudine Hope
I was involved in a terrible accident and had a lot of serious injuries. I was so happy that Bart (and his team, including his nurse paralegal) was my attorney. The results were much more than expected as far as the settlement. Thanks.
- Karen Bourgeois
I received exceptional service from the law office of Bart Kelly. He is a great attorney who cares about what you are going through, and I am very pleased with the outcome.
- Melissa Sanchez