• Kids Safer with Grandparents Driving, says U.S. Study

    The surprising results of a study reveal that children are actually safer on the road when it’s grandpa or grandma behind the wheel. Find out why.
  • kid car seatA study published in the journal Pediatrics looked at five years’ worth of information on car accidents involving kids below 16 years old. They found out that grandparents driving only accounted for 0.7 percent of the car crashes, versus 1 percent for parents.

    The researchers, headed by Dr. Fred Henretig, emergency attending physician at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, also noted other factors that contribute to the road accidents, such as the drivers’ gender, drivers’ seatbelt use, children’s use of seatbelts or seat restraints, where the child was seated in the car, as well as the type of vehicle. They discovered that despite these various factors, the significantly lower incidence of injury with kids driven by their grandparents was nevertheless consistent.

    While the preconceived notion that older drivers would be more prone to getting into accidents still persists due to their slower reflexes and difficulty making decisions when caught in heavy traffic, the results reveal that they were actually more cautious on the road when children were on board. Owing to their old age, these elderly drivers take less risks when getting into high-speed traffic or switching lanes. The study also noted that they tend to avoid long trips on the highway to steer clear of accidents.

    Despite this, 25 percent of grandparents didn’t use seatbelts or car seats versus 19 percent of parents who likewise did not follow car-safety recommendations. The use of children straps, seatbelts and car seats is strictly observed in the U.S., and the American Academy of Pediatrics actually has guides for parents on car safety seats, as well as information on safe driving.

     

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