Safety measures that parents insist upon for their own children may be ignored when carpooling responsibilities place multiple children in the vehicle. Research has shown that parents are more likely to expose children to injury in a car accident if they are carpooling. Properly securing more than one child in a vehicle can be time-consuming, or even impossible, depending on the vehicle. If you are driving other children, or if you are letting your children ride with another parent, it is important to make sure that all precautions are taken to protect those children from harm.
Infants and toddlers suffer a much higher rate of fatal injury in car accidents when they are not properly placed in child safety seats. Older children who are too big for car seats but too small for regular seat belts need booster seats to prevent them from sliding under the seat belt or suffering head or neck injuries from the belt itself. Most states have laws requiring such booster seats, but they are still underused in most places. All children less than 4 feet 9 inches tall need a booster seat to ride safely in a car. All children under the age of 13 should be placed in the back seat.
Finding people you can trust with the safety of your children can be a challenge. When kids ride together to birthday parties or after school activities, they can be noisy and distracting. Anyone with children appreciates the effort it takes to get them from place to place. Many parents are reluctant to ask that their child be placed in a booster seat. Others will allow their children to ride without the seat if the child's friends aren't using one. The kids in your car are your responsibility. It is always appropriate to see to their safety.
As with many safety precautions, people do not consider the risks until it is too late. A car accident can claim the lives of children more easily if they are not properly secured. It is worth the time and potential discomfort to see that your children are transported safely, even when riding with someone else.
Source: eMaxhealth, "Parents Not Consistent About Safety When Carpooling," by Denise Reynolds, 30 January 2012