Kids Are Twice as Safe When Grandparents Drive Than When Parents Take the Wheel

Family Travel on 07.18.11


According to statistics from insurance companies that tracked accidents in 15 states over five years, says Dr. Fred Henretig, children are twice as safe when their grandparents are driving as they are when their parents are driving.

Time Healthland reports that researchers expected that the grandparents would be involved in more crashes -- since that population tends to get into more accidents anyway -- but were proved wrong:


Overall, the five years of crashes studied involved 217,976 children. Grandma and grandpa were driving in 10% of all car accidents (the rest occurred when parents were driving), and responsible for only about 7% of the total injuries to children under 16.


Even though older drivers often have slower reflexes, they do one very important thing differently from their children when driving the youngest generation, says Henretig: "What we learned was that grandparents drive very, very cautiously when their grandchildren are on board, making a special effort to drive safely." 

However, the researchers did find that grandparents were less likely to use the car seat safety belts properly -- which means you should take the time to make sure your most eager babysitters understand exactly how to strap in that precious cargo before you let them get behind the wheel with your kids.


More from Time Healthland.


More Child Safety
Child Car-Seat Safety: When Does Caution Turn To Paranoia? 
Ask Chemist Mom: Are Parabens Safe? 
7 Summer Safety Basics to Keep Your Family from Harm