Allowing your child – whether five or fifteen years old – to travel with another person or family can be a very intimidating decision. It is important to ask the right questions, especially those pertaining to the actual child travel. Thousands of kids are injured in car accidents every year and a scary percentage of those do not survive the accidents. This is not a matter to be taken lightly, so before your child leaves your Saint Petersburg home, ask the right questions to try better to ensure child travel safety.
Do you have a booster seat or car seat made to fit my child?
Have those car seats been involved in an accident (with or without a child in them)?
Would you prefer that I provide a seat for my child?
Are you familiar with how to strap a child into a car seat or booster seat?
Have you planned any in-car activities to occupy my child while you drive?
Will you be making stops during your trip? If so, how often?
Are you comfortable taking my child to the bathroom, if he or she needs to stop during your trip?
How do you expect those bathroom trips to work?
Do you know how to administer my child’s emergency medication, if necessary?
Will your trip involve any nighttime travel?
Will anyone else be driving while my child is in the vehicle?
Do you have all of my contact information in your phone?
Do you also have that information somewhere else, in case your phone should be misplaced?
Have you been charged with any traffic violations recently? If so, what were they?
Will you be talking on the phone, or using your phone for any other purpose during the trip?
If you stop to get something to eat, will you be consuming any alcohol? If so, is there a designated driver ready to take over for you?
What is your plan if my child suddenly becomes homesick or upset?
Would you like me to pack snacks or beverages for my child?
Will you allow my child to eat or drink in your vehicle?
How long will it take you to reach your intended destination?
When can I expect you to return to St. Petersburg?
Will you bring my child back to my home, or will he or she need a ride from another location?
Do you have an emergency kit in the car, in case something should go wrong?
Do you have my child’s medical information and insurance information, in case he or she should need emergency care?
How can I reach you during your trip?
As mentioned above, allowing a child to ride with and travel with others is a very big decision. Take the time to consider the advantages and disadvantages. How well do you know this person? Can you trust him or her as a caregiver and a driver? Is your child mature enough to take such a trip? Often, a large part of the trust must be placed upon your child’s shoulders. If he or she is comfortable speaking up when things are not going right, then it will give you more peace of mind. For instance, educate your child on the dangers of drinking and driving, and texting while driving, so he or she will say something if that occurs when you are not there to defend against it.
If your child is harmed as a result of another person’s negligence, you do have the right to consult a personal injury attorney. However, while lawyers can help you recover monetary damages, they cannot restore your child’s health, if he or she is seriously injured in a car accident.