Car Insurance Safety Tips on How to Handle Young Backseat Passengers

By Insurance.com Posted : 08/22/2006

A new baby brings on many new responsibilities and many new distractions while in the car, such as fallen pacifiers, explosive spills, spit ups and screeching cries for help. Although seemingly harmless in nature, these distractions can cause parents to lose their concentration while driving - potentially putting themselves, their family and other drivers in harm's way.

While parents can't rid themselves of the disruptions their new little passengers present, they can take steps to protect themselves and their family while on the road. One such way is reevaluating or upgrading their car insurance policy. "It's always a good idea for drivers to revisit their auto insurance plan during major life events like having children," stated Dave Roush, CEO of Insurance.com. "With the new responsibilities of raising a child, parents may decide that they want to increase their liability or property damage coverage for added financial protection."

In addition to upgrading one's auto insurance policy, there are many tactics parents can follow to help make their vehicle less of a battleground and more of a pleasure for themselves and their young passengers.

Safety First
According to the National Safety Belt Coalition, children sustain serious injuries and die in motor vehicle crashes everyday due to the misuse and improper installation of child safety seats and booster seats. Worse yet, many parents do not even know that they are using the safety restraint incorrectly. To find out if you are properly installing your child's safety seat or booster seat logon to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website. Here you'll be able to find a listing of certified child passenger safety technicians in your area who can teach you how to properly install your child's safety or booster seat.

Child Safety Mirrors
One device that helps both parents and children communicate better are child safety mirrors. Easy to attach to your rear view mirror, this gadget allows parents to keep their eyes on the road, while also checking on their children in the back seat. In addition, safety mirrors allow children to see and communicate more freely with their parents - helping reduce the temptation for young passengers to act up in the back seat.

Safety mirrors are also available for parents with infants in rear car seats. Designed to attach to the rear window or back seat headrest, the rear child safety mirror allows parents to safely check on their infant without having to adjust their rearview mirror or take their eyes off the road.

"When choosing a mirror, parents should look for one that attaches securely to their rearview mirror, where a driver's eyes naturally go," stated Brad Vermillion, an insurance agent from Ohio. "Another good tip is to make sure the mirror's lens is curved, this will allow for a clearer view of the entire back seat."

Distract Their Attention
Children get bored easily in a car; so make sure to pack some items that will keep them entertained throughout the journey. For instance, if you're planning to be in the car for an extended period of time you may want to consider purchasing a portable DVD player. Easily attached to the back of the driver or passenger seat, a portable DVD player allows your children to enjoy a movie or video game while in the car.

If your children tend to disagree on what to watch, consider purchasing a two-screen DVD player. This will give your children the flexibility to watch a movie and play a video game all at the same time.

Another great way to keep your children occupied during a long trip is by filling a car organizer with coloring books, crayons, toys, handheld electronic games, tissues, drinks and snacks. This will help make the trip go by faster for your children and help reduce the number of times you hear, "Are we there yet?"

Take Frequent Breaks
Traveling distances can be daunting to a child, so plan on taking frequent breaks at a park, a historical site or eatery. This will help reduce driver fatigue and refresh your restless passengers.

Oops I Dropped It
As you know, children tend to drop items on the car floor. While you're not always able to prevent this from happening, you can equip yourself with the tools you need to minimize the occurrences. For instance, if your child uses a pacifier, consider purchasing a pacifier clip. This will help keep the pacifier in the vicinity of your baby and help eliminate an upset infant. Also, keep a secret stash of toys or books in the front seat of the car for when your child accidentally drops a toy on the floor. This will help take their attention away from the fallen toy and help derail a potential ugly situation.

Comparison Shop Before You Change
If you're thinking about upgrading or changing insurance companies, make sure to visit Insurance.com's auto quote comparison module to find the best auto insurance rate available. There, you'll be able to compare car insurance rates from up to 12 insurance providers, helping you find the auto insurance plan that best suits your family's needs.

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