Are your children properly protected when travelling in your car? If you’re driving with children, one of the most important things you’ll need to know is how to enhance their safety on the road. It can be hard to ensure that your child is safe on top of all your other caregiving responsibilities, so Kwiksure has created the following guide to help you protect your kids on the road.
Install a safety seat
Seat belts in cars are designed to fit adults, not children. Especially with younger children, seat belts will not securely sit across the right parts of their body - in the event of an accident this can jeopardize their safety as it won’t adequately protect your child from the impact of a car crash. To make sure that they are securely fastened to their seat, make sure that you install a safety seat for your child. To properly install a safety seat, below are some of the things you should consider.
The types of safety seats for different ages
As explained by the Hong Kong Transport Department, children of different ages require different types of child safety seats:
Up to 12 months old: Children under and up to the age of 12 months should be placed lying down in a carry cot at the rear of the car. Children under 9 months are recommended to be placed in an infant carrier. For additional protection, fasten a cover over the carrycot.
9 months to 4 years old: For children weighing between 9 - 18 kg who can sit up by themselves, install a child safety seat for this age group, and be sure that the child is held in the seat by a harness.
3 to 12 years old: For children weighing between 15 - 36 kg, a booster seat is recommended to bring the child to the proper seat belt height.
In most cases, teenangers above 12 years old can use the ordinary seat belt without any additional safety seats.
Make sure that the safety seat is properly installed
To make sure the safety seat is properly installed, make sure that it does not move more than an inch when you shake it at the base. Also make sure that the harness fits on tightly and is properly buckled. To do so, give the safety straps a pinch to ensure that there is no excess webbing. When buying a car seat, it’s also important to make sure that it will fit your car, as not all seats will fit all cars.
Be wary of second hand safety seats
Finding a good deal for a second hand seat online is undoubtedly appealing, but sometimes it can be hard to tell if a second hand seat has been damaged previously in an accident. Only use second hand seats if you know for sure that it has not been damaged - it’s also better to use a second hand seat that has been provided to you by someone you trust, such as a friend or family member.
Backup cameras can be a life-saver
In the US, backover crashes causes 210 fatalities and 15,000 injuries per year, and as young children are relatively small in size, they are most likely to end up in the driver’s blind zone. Backup cameras are a specific type of video camera that is attached to the rear of a car to help a vehicle as it travels in reverse. Not only are they effective in helping drivers avoid bumping into things when backing up, but they can also be major life-savers - a recent study found that backup cameras help reduce these blind zones by about 90%.
Use child-safety locks
Installing a child-safety mechanism on car doors and windows can really help prevent curious children from causing accidents by popping the car door or window open when you’re driving. Even if your child is secured in a safety seat, they might still be able to reach for the car door or window, so make sure your child-safety locks are activated.
Ensure you have the right car insurance coverage
As required by Hong Kong legislation, it is mandatory for all drivers to be secured by car insurance with the minimum coverage level required. The lowest form of car insurance coverage available is HK$100,000,000 in the event of bodily injury or death. While securing insurance does not lower the chances of an accident occurring, the right type of car insurance can really save you by providing the medical coverage needed in the event of any unforeseen accidents.
Please note that not all car insurance policies will provide first party coverage, so it’s important to be aware of the types of car insurance options available.
Third party car insurance
Third party insurance is the most fundamental form of car insurance, and protects you from the costs of damages to third party vehicles and their passengers in the event that you are involved in a collision with another vehicle. An important thing to note is that this type of policy excludes coverage for damages to your vehicle or personal injury.
Comprehensive car insurance
With a comprehensive car insurance policy, not only are third party liabilities covered, but damages to your own vehicle and personal accident coverage for you and your passengers will also be included. If you’re driving around with family members, this type of coverage is highly recommended.
If you’ve got any questions about your car insurance plan, feel free to contact us to chat with one of our experienced insurance advisors today. Alternatively, you can click here to get your FREE car insurance quote.