If you think driving with children is the easiest thing to do, you are mistaken. You have to keep your eyes and ears open when they are with you in the car and take a number of precautions before starting out in their company. Our topic of discussion on the traffic laws this week is ‘Driving with Children’!
Never allow children to sit in the front seat. For children, normal seat belts are of no use and offer them little protection. Even an adult carrying a child in his or her lap is not allowed to sit in the front seat since in that case, a seat belt becomes merely a clumsy formality and offers no protection to either the child or the adult.
Children must also not be allowed to sit in the front seat since the fidgety or the curious among them have the tendency to interfere with the gear box or the hand brake which may result in an untoward accident.
Make sure that the child locks in the car are active when children are occupying the backseat.
When driving a toddler or a little child in the child seat affixed in the backseat, you must ensure the seat matches the baby’s size and is comfortable. If the seat is big, the baby may fall out or wriggle out of it; if it is small the child may suffer discomfort. Never speed when you are driving with children. Speed not only scares children, but in case of an accident the results might be disastrous.
In winter, even if you have to pull the windows down, those for the back seat must be pulled down only to the extent that a child may not thrust its head out of the window. One often notices children leaning out of car windows on the road but this is dangerous.
Do not just park your car and allow children to get into the car or get out of it while you continue to occupy the driver’s seat. This could be dangerous. And never allow children to get out of the door behind the driver, which opens onto the running traffic. They must get down from the back door on the right hand side. Assist children while they get into or get out of a vehicle and ensure that the doors have been properly closed.
In case adults and children are traveling together in the back seat, the adults should occupy the window seats. This will allow them to quickly open the doors in case there is an emergency.