As parents, your job is to keep your children safe. One of the biggest risks kids face is the chance of being hurt or killed as a passenger in a car accident. Preventing passenger injuries and fatalities is something that parents should prioritize, particularly as it begins to get dark out earlier each day through the autumn and winter months.
One recent tragic accident in South Fulton County underscored the tremendous importance of protecting young people from collisions. The accident was reported on by AJC.com and involved three teenagers. Two of the teens were brothers, and all three died in the Sunday night accident following a homecoming celebration at the high school they had attended.
Advice to Parents on Preventing Passenger Injuries Through the Years
From the day a child is born, parents can and should take steps to prevent passenger injuries in auto accidents. These steps will change over time. For example:
- When your children are infants and toddlers, the best way to protect them is to make sure they are riding in safe car seats. Avoid buying old or used car seats which may not comply with the latest safety standards, and consider going to the fire department or police station for help installing the car seat, as many are installed improperly.
- As your children get older, modeling good driving behavior is one of the best ways to prevent passenger injuries. You should always drive the speed limit, wear your seat belt, never drive drunk, and avoid distracted driving. Your kids are going to take their cues from you, and if they see you engaging in dangerous behavior, they are more likely to take unnecessary risks themselves as they get older. By exhibiting safe behavior, you also reduce the chances you will cause a crash and hurt or kill your kids.
- When your kids are teens, make sure they do not get into cars packed with other young drivers. In Georgia, graduated licensing rules forbid a new teen driver from having any young non-family passengers in the car for the first six months. For the next six months, teens are allowed only one passenger under 21. After the first year, teens aren't allowed more than three passengers. However, this a secondary enforcement rule, which means police can only take action for too many passengers if teens do something else wrong. The rule isn't well enforced, so parents should make their own rules to try to avoid accidents like the recent tragic crash which took three young lives in Fulton County.
While parents can do everything possible to keep their kids safe, unfortunately accidents still sometimes happen. Your kids could be hurt or killed while riding in the car with a teen driver or could be hurt or killed in your car if a careless motorist causes a collision. An experienced personal injury attorney in Atlanta will be in the best position to protect your rights.