According to the Road Safety Authority (Ireland) almost 1 in 5 people who died on Irish roads in 2013 were not wearing seatbelts.
In an observational survey of 20,000 cars in the same year it was found that 89% of rear passengers wore their seat belts. Given that children are regular rear passengers this is a worrying statistic.
As a mum-to-be one of the must have purchases if you are going to be driving around with your baby is a Group 0+ car seat. This seat should be rear facing. The hospital will likely ensure you have this before you are allowed leave.
There are, thereafter, very clear guidelines as to when you should be moving your child to forward facing, high back boosters and eventually into a booster cushion.
What is also important is ensuring that the seat is fitted correctly. There is no point in going to the trouble of buying a good quality car seat to then not fit it correctly.
The Road Safety Authority have a great illustrated guide on ensuring the correct car seats to use.
Given the weekend that it in it (St Patrick’s weekend), a time when many people may be using the road, the Garda (Irish police) will be targeting non use of seatbelts. Whatever you do make sure you are buckled up this weekend – and indeed every time you drive. Check your children are secured correctly before you travel anywhere.