From the moment you are handed your precious bundle of joy, your parental instincts to protect this child from harm kick into high gear. Suddenly, the scariest thing you think of doing is driving anywhere with your child in tow. How can you share the road now that you have a child—people drive like lunatics! So you do the things any sane parent would do. You purchase the best car seat you can afford, trade in your sporty two-door car for an ultra-safe minivan, and vow to drive at least five mph under the speed limit until your child’s fortieth birthday. While these strategies may benefit your child in the event you are in an accident; there is something just as important that most parents never do and that is to declutter.
As any parent knows, children come with a ton of stuff. Any trip with a child involves tons of stuff. The stuff, is the other reason parents opt for a larger vehicle like an SUV or a minivan—because they need somewhere to put all the STUFF! A day trip to grandma’s house requires almost as much stuff as a weekend getaway. The problem with the all the stuff is that it is difficult to keep it contained in a car. Strollers, sippy cups, toys, diaper bags, are all tossed in alongside the groceries and the travel mug full of coffee. The problem with all of this clutter is that in the event of an accident or a sudden hard stop, any of these objects can become projectiles.
People often scoff at the idea of being hit by an item in their vehicle. However, if a baseball has ever hit you in the arm or leg—you can begin to appreciate the pain and damage even a small flying object can have. A baseball or even a hockey puck is only about a half of a pound—so about the same as a tablet, cell phone or book. Even a 5-pound object at 30 mph will hit with 150 pounds of force, which is pretty significant especially when you think of the object hitting your child in the head or face. A few years ago a Denver parent learned this fact the hard way when her two-year-old was practically scalped by a soft-spouted sippy cup which became a projectile during an accident.
To protect your children from projectiles in the car, follow these tips:
- Evaluate the contents of your vehicle and remove any unnecessary items.
- Store any heavy objects, like suitcases and strollers, in the trunk or cargo area.
- Keep only the most needed items out and keep the rest of the stuff in a storage box in the truck or cargo area.
- Consider trading in your metal coffee cup for a lightweight plastic cup. If you cannot part with your insulated cup, consider storing it the door storage area rather than the cup holder.
- Children’s backpacks and coats can are best stored on the floor under their feet.
- Move items like purses and electronic devices to the floor or in other storage compartments.
If you or a loved one were seriously injured in an auto accident, schedule an appointment to speak with an experienced Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorney. Only a skilled Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorney can serve as your advocate and protect your rights. At the Handley Law Center, our seasoned injury attorneys have fought on behalf of countless injury victims throughout Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Injury Attorneys at The Handley Law Center will work diligently to make sure that you receive full compensation for your injuries. Call The Handley Law Center today at (405) 295-1924 to schedule a free and completely confidential consultation. Our attorneys will not stop fighting for you!