Baby on board – Driving with little passengers

Whether you’re making your school run or taking the family on a much-deserved holiday, as a parent, it makes sense that we would do everything to ensure that our loved ones remain safe and secure the moment they settle into our vehicles.

Vehicle safety should be every single drivers’ number one concern, be it inside the vehicle or outside. Admittedly, we live busy lives, and our vehicles play an important part in that life. With a few simple steps and a little more information, you can proactively take steps to ensure that your children and loved ones remain safe when they are around a vehicle.

Take the time to review these helpful tips:

  • Seat belts save lives. The law requires that all vehicle occupants wear an appropriate seat belt. No matter the age of the occupants in the vehicle, all passengers should be seated securely. When driving with little passengers, consider the following safety tips:
    • Use properly installed child safety or booster seats.
    • Select a car seat based on your child’s age and size.
    • Do not travel with a child on your lap.
    • Sharing a seat belt with a child is dangerous.
  • Never leave a child alone in your vehicle. No child should ever be left unattended in a vehicle for any amount of time – even a quick trip into the store is too long. It may be tempting to leave your child to sleep in your vehicle with the windows cracked half open, do not even consider this!
    • Make it a habit of checking your vehicle before leaving it, to ensure that you have not forgotten to drop off your child, who is sound asleep in the back seat.
    • Keep a stuffed animal or other reminder next to you in the car as a cue that your child is with you.
    • If you see a child left alone in a vehicle, contact the police immediately.
  • Avoid letting children eat in your vehicle. It can feel like we spend half our lives driving around in our vehicle, so at some point, snack-time is going to come by. If you do choose to feed your children while they are in your vehicle, please consider the following:
    • Avoid foods that are considered choking hazards for young children.
    • Cut before your serve. Instead of giving your children foods that are difficult to eat in whole form, cut or break them into smaller pieces.
    • Have an adult sit in the back seat. If you are on a road trip and know you will need to feed your children, have another adult sit in the back of the car with the children if possible.
  • Keep children from playing around the vehicle. Children should not play around a parked vehicle. It might seem harmless if the vehicle is parked and the emergency brake is engaged, letting children play near a parked vehicle creates a false sense of safety.
    • Take a 5-second walk completely around your vehicle before you get in.
    • When reversing out of a garage or driveway, know where your children are.
    • Roll down your window so that you can hear what’s happening around your car.
    • Reverse out slowly.

Children have a tendency to think the rules only apply when they’re with their parents. Instruct your child to always follow the rules for vehicle safety – even if they’re in someone else’s car. Educating your children at a young age about vehicle safety, will help them become responsible drivers later in life.

At African Independent Brokers, we’re dedicated to keeping our clients, safe on the roads at all times.


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