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Your Family & Insurance

Car Safety with Young Children

With a new baby come many new responsibilities and many new distractions while driving. Spills, spit ups and crying can cause parents to lose their concentration while driving &#045 potentially putting themselves, their family and other drivers in harm&#039s way.

Although such distractions are part of being a parent, there are things that can be done to help protect your family while on the road. One such way is to review or upgrade your car insurance policy. &#034It&#039s always a good idea for drivers to revisit their auto insurance plan during major life events like having children,&#034 stated Dave Roush, CEO of Insurance.com. &#034With 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.&#034

In addition to upgrading one&#039s auto insurance policy, there are other things parents can do to help make driving safer and more a pleasant experience 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&#039s safety seat or booster seat logon to http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/childps/Contacts/index.cfm. Here you&#039ll 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&#039s safety or booster seat.

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 &#045 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.

&#034When choosing a mirror, parents should look for one that attaches securely to their rearview mirror, where a driver&#039s eyes naturally go,&#034 stated Brad Vermillion, an insurance agent from Ohio. &#034Another good tip is to make sure the mirror&#039s lens is curved, this will allow for a clearer view of the entire back seat.&#034

Good Distractions
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&#039re 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, &#034Are we there yet?&#034

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.

As you know, children tend to drop items on the car floor. While you&#039re 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&#039re thinking about upgrading or changing your auto insurance policy, make sure to visit Insurance.com&#039s auto quote comparison module to find the best auto insurance rate available. There, you&#039ll 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&#039s needs.