Make Family Car Safety Your First Priority On The Road

Posted by on April 18, 2012 | No Comments

Many families travel thousands of miles in their cars each year, and it is of crucial importance to ensure that your loved ones are as safe as possible when on the road. Keeping your vehicle in good condition, ensuring that seat belts are worn and driving carefully all contribute towards family car safety. When safety procedures are followed, you can rest easy in the knowledge that you are doing everything possible to protect the lives of your passengers.

Vehicles should have regular maintenance checks to ensure that all safety features, particularly brakes, lights and tyres are in good working order. In most countries, it is a legal requirement to have a fitness test performed by a qualified mechanic every six months. However, it is also a good idea to have a basic check done before any long journey. You should also keep an eye on the water level, oil and tyre pressure yourself.

Wearing seat belts is another legal requirement. Almost all cars these days are fitted with front and rear belts and these should be worn on all trips, however long or short. Some adjust to the passenger’s size automatically, but the old fashioned styles still need to be tightened or loosened manually. Always ensure that belts are adjusted accurately to provide maximum protection in the event of a collision. Air bags are another modern feature which help protect travellers.

Particular care must be taken when children are in the vehicle. Good quality child restraints are absolutely essential for babies, toddlers and even older children. Infants under 12 months need a rear facing capsule and can be moved to a forward facing seat when they are heavy enough. Both types of restraint should have an adjustable 5 point harness and must be secured firmly to the seat belt. Read the instructions carefully before installing a child seat and check the straps regularly for signs of wear. It is not advisable to buy a seat second hand.

Older children should use a booster chair until they can sit comfortably with their feet on the floor and back against the edge of the seat. A separate harness, attached to the car can be added for extra security.

The last, but certainly not least, consideration is safe driving. Keep to the speed limit and take particular care when travelling at night or during bad whether when visibility is likely to be reduced and the road condition dangerous. Avoid overtaking if possible, and do so only when there is a clear stretch of road ahead with no oncoming traffic. Stop and rest or switch drivers if you feel yourself getting sleepy and never consume alcohol prior to driving.

Keep these points in mind, and you will enjoy a safe and happy journey.

Learn more about the importance of family car safety now in our insider’s review on must-have car accessories and where to get the best towbars online

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