This post is Sponsored By Allianz Roadside Assistance
When you think about where you spend time with your family, a number of places might spring to mind. Home, the park, a favourite restaurant or grandma’s house.
We don’t think about all the time we spend in the car getting to those places! Not to mention the school run, the weekend sport circuit or general taxi duty.
In fact, when I think about the amount of time my three kids spend in the car, it is quite astounding. It makes me realise how much we take safety for granted while in the car. We get them in, belt them up and off we go. Considering in March 2018 alone there were 112 road deaths in Australia, safety should be in the forefront of every parent’s mind when their kids get in the car.
Here are some things that are important for all parents to take stock of when it comes to car safety:
Car Seats and Restraints
Having three young kids, car seats are a big factor in our daily travels. My middle daughter desperately wants to be out of her booster but we are trying to make her understand that just because she’s technically old enough doesn’t mean it’s the safest option. Laws are different for each state but you can see the Australian legal requirements here. There is also a helpful 5-step test to determine if your child is ready to be out of a car restraint:
- Can your child sit all the way back against the seat?
- Do your child’s knees bend comfortably in front of the edge of the seat?
- Does the sash (shoulder) belt sit across the middle of the shoulder not on the neck or the arm?
- Is the lap belt sitting low across the hip bones touching the thighs?
- Can your child stay seated like this for the whole trip?
I know not all of these apply to my middle daughter so we will be keeping her in her booster for a while longer!
It may seem like common sense but the importance of maintaining your car for optimal safety cannot be overstated. Unfortunately, often it’s not until something goes wrong that you realise!
It is important to:
- Get regular services to make sure everything is running as it should and to check things such as brakes are in good order and not impacting safety.
- Check your tyres. Unsafe tyres can impair your ability to manoeuvre or stop the vehicle in an emergency. Check your pressure and get regular wheel alignment, balance and tread checks.
- Attend to any manufacture recalls promptly. This applies to all recalls as it may impact the safe operation of your vehicle, but particularly the latest airbag recalls. You can see if your car is on the ACCC list here.
- Have roadside assistance. If your car breaks down and you have the kids in the car it can be a logistical nightmare. It might be a flat battery, blown tyre or something major. Being able to call a roadside mechanic 24/7 to get you back on the road or organise a tow definitely takes some of the stress out of a nightmare situation.
Having a child accidentally locked inside a car is extremely scary and potentially life threatening. It is also easily done. I know – it happened to me! When the roadside assistance service arrived within 15 minutes to open the car I cried with relief. Did you know that roadside assistance services such as Allianz Roadside Assistance prioritise callouts where children are locked in vehicles? Allianz also provide Australia-wide coverage*, so if something happens while you are travelling you have peace of mind.
Once your children are old enough, it is also important to talk to them about what they should do if they ever get trapped in the car. After all, most families have an exit plan for their house in the event of a fire, but what about for the car? Scenarios such as accidents, fire or being submerged in water are all scary possibilities. Talking to your children about these events is not meant to scare them but prepare them to act quickly.
Consider telling them things like:
- get seatbelts off first
- try to open windows as quickly as possible
- use the horn to attract attention
We are also considering investing in a window break tool as an extra failsafe.
Having an accident while the kids are in the car is one of my biggest fears. Making sure that they are as safe as possible while we are travelling is a big priority. I want to make sure I have all bases covered in case the worst happens!
*Service limits apply.
Allianz Roadside Assistance is provided by AWP Australia Pty Ltd ABN 52 097 227 177 trading as Allianz Global Assistance. We do not provide advice based on any consideration of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply. Before making a decision please consider the standard terms and conditions available at https://roadside.allianz.com.au/terms-and-conditions