I've often heard frustration from parents when talking about grandparents.  "Mom thinks that because she didn't buckle me up and I was fine, that car seats aren't necessary."  Or, "My dad never makes the kids buckle up."  It's true; a new study shows that grandparents are slightly less likely than parents to properly use car seats, seat belts, or booster seats. However, the study which was published this month in the journal Pediatrics, also found that kids may be safer when driven in a car by a grandparent instead of a parent.
 
The researchers from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia completed the first study comparing parent and grandparent drivers.  After looking at data from 15 states and the District of Columbia, they were surprised to find that children are actually half as likely to be injured in a crash when a grandparent is driving as in a crash where mom or dad is driving.   
 
In the study sample, a parent was driving in about 90% of the crashes and a grandparent in 10%.  However, 93.4% of the total injuries occurred when parent was being the wheel.  This gives an injury rate per 100 child occupants of 0.7% for grandparents and 1.05% for parents.
 
Despite the low injury rate for grandparents, children should always be properly buckled up when in a car.  Learn more in Atlanta accident attorney Shane Smith's article, "Georgia Car Seat Law: keeping your children safe."

Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia
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