Perhaps the most stressful and scariest times as a parent were when my teen daughters began to drive a car. The pendulum of life has changed, as I now have 8 grandchildren with their safety my top priority. The best time to teach safety to kids is when they’re young — before they become teen drivers behind the wheel. Read on for these car safety tips on keeping kids safe.
Car Safety Tips: Keeping Kids Safe
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It seems just like yesterday that my daughters were teen drivers, and I was that Mom who couldn’t sleep, worrying about their safety until they rolled into the driveway. In reality, my daughters are now young adults with families of their own, and I have one granddaughter driving, a grandson, and another granddaughter months away from (gasp!) from driving too. Yet I still have five more waiting in the wings.
Whether you’re still raising your own kids or enjoying the grandparent’s life, consider these car safety tips for keeping kids safe.
Teach Car Safety Tips at a Young Age
Today with new technology, like OnStar, keeping kids safe is built-in, but you do have to teach your kids how to use it. It’s never too soon to teach kids about car safety. In fact, the first lesson our kids learned was “buckling up for safety,” and we chanted this mantra when we all opened the car door. I would not take the car out of park until all seat belts were fastened — and you know what? I still practice that same seat belt car safety with my grandkids.
Several years ago, when I attended an educational workshop about OnStar, I learned that OnStar and Chevy are the perfect partnership — and how important safety was to the brand. What stands out to me is an OnStar call by a 5-year-old little boy. His mommy had suffered a medical emergency while driving, and he had been taught to press the OnStar button in an emergency — and that saved his mother’s life.
Car safety shouldn’t wait until your child becomes a teenager and gets behind the wheel to drive. Did you wait until your child was a teenager to teach them to call 911? Of course not. You should start teaching future drivers about safety and how to use the tools and technology in today’s innovative cars.
Let’s face it. Who do you call when you can’t get your phone to work or you want to know how a new app works? Kids are tech-savvy already. Car safety is simply a matter of educating them about what to do in an emergency, and lucky for us, car technology has come a long way, baby.
Teaching Future Drivers About OnStar
OnStar and Safe Kids is an organization dedicated to keeping parents informed and children safe. Both are firm believers of the importance of parents (and grandparents!) opening up a conversation with their preteen or teenage child about how to safely react in a vehicle-related emergency before it happens. Personally, I would actually push that envelope to even younger (3-4 years old) and make car safety an ongoing conversation.
Start by teaching your child how to use the safety and security features of your On-Star equipped vehicle. It is as simple as a push of the button to get immediate assistance.
Tips to Talk about Car Safety with Kids
For those who might need a little help on what to discuss, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s child safety program offers tips on keeping kids safe. Onstar also offers these tips on vehicle emergency preparedness.
SafeKids conducts programs for kids and families around the country that teach safety messages, including how to use OnStar, common vehicle myths, tips, and more. A Cub Scout program is geared for kids ages 7-10; the Safest Generation program is tailored for kids ages 11-12 and the Countdown2Drive programs reach older kids and young teens. Visit www.safekids.org to find a program near you.
Teaching your child — or your grandchild — basic car safety techniques, including how to use safety and security features of OnStar. This will be the biggest step in keeping your kids safe in a car.
Part of keeping your child safe is keeping them informed. For example, teach your child how to use the safety and security features of your OnStar-equipped vehicle. OnStar is simple to use — with just the push of a button they can get whatever assistance they may need.
Want to know more?
- Download the NHTSA’s ebook: Keeping Kids Safe, A parent’s guide to keeping children safe in and around cars.
- Click here to learn more about OnStar’s vehicle safety.
- Did you know OnStar also keeps Mom’s organized?
Disclosure: I participated in a SheBuysCars sponsored promotion with Chevy and Onstar on #KeepingKidsSafe.