Being a parent has so many responsibilities that I can’t even begin to list them all. One of the things that remain at the top of our list is ensuring that our kids are safe. I personally know how I feel when one of my kids injures themselves. No parent would really want to purposely want to injure their child, right? Why does this seem to change when they become passengers in our vehicle?
My oldest son plays hard with sports and seems to injure himself each season. Whether it’s through hockey or baseball, if there’s a way he can get hurt, he’ll find it. Most of those injuries are minor and a few weeks of rest seems to work to heal those injuries. However, injuries involved through driving tend to be much worse.
Taking the attitude of protecting our kids as they ride in the vehicle that we’re driving seems to be swept under the rug by many drivers. They seem to forget about their responsibilities as they sit behind the wheel. I witness many drivers proving this theory each and every day I’m out on the road. Let’s start with a few examples of driver’s actions that can potentially injure their kids.
Following too closely is a big one. If you follow too closely and rear end another vehicle, your kids can be seriously injured because of the force of the impact, especially at highway or freeway speeds. Think about the vehicle you hit. What if they had kids in the back seat?
Blowing through red lights with kids in the back seat just because you’re late for your appointment can cause a T-bone or side impact crash as the driver coming through the cross intersection has a green light but doesn’t expect you to go through your red light. Stopping for those 30-40 seconds at a red light won’t make much of a difference in you getting to your destination now would it?
Passing a slower moving vehicle on a two lane highway when there are oncoming vehicles approaching can injure or kill all involved. What if you crashed head on? Would airbags help them enough? Consider that most vehicles have frontal airbags and curtain airbags but not rear airbags. Why test them to see if they work?
Let’s talk speeding. Many people have the “need for speed” but that creates a huge risk to our kids. What if another driver suddenly pulls out in front of you not realizing you’re going that fast and you suddenly swerve to avoid them? Perhaps this could cause a rollover or slamming into a tree? When most people speed they end up stopping at a red light anyway. So why speed? It usually only saves you a few seconds anyway.
Notice these all have to do with being in a hurry? If you need to be at a certain place at a certain time, leave sooner if traffic is heavy or if weather is bad. Why risk your safety and the safety of your young passengers?
These are just a few things that many drivers do each and every day when they have their kids in the vehicle. The next time you’re transporting your kids, think before you act. Drive in such a manner that you know your kids can arrive safely. Your kids are relying on you to get them to their destinations safely. Take the responsibility of keeping them safe, just like you would in your own home.