Not all grandparents are driving their grandkids around safely

09 January 2018
Are you driving your grandchildren around safely?

Grandparents in the UK are looking after their grandchildren more frequently than ever before, in some cases taking them before school, after school and throughout the 13 weeks of half-term holidays most schools get every year.

Grandmas and granddads are often in charge of clothing, feeding and entertaining the grandkids, with this inevitably involving a lot of journeys by car, whether that's to the shops or appointments or to school and back every day.

But according to new research from LV=, not all car journeys ferrying the grandkids around are carried out safely. So how can this be improved?

How many grandparents drive safely?

LV= found that almost two-thirds (61 per cent) of UK grandparents are not fully aware of the laws that surround car seats in Britain, with 39 per cent believing that under-12s are fine with just a seatbelt, despite the law stating otherwise.

Nine in ten grandparents believe that more needs to be done to raise awareness of the regulations surrounding car seats so they are able to always drive their grandchildren around as safely as possible.

The research also led to the discovery that more than one-quarter (26 per cent) of grandmas and granddads looking after six to nine-year-olds think they are fine without a booster seat, but this is not necessarily the case.

Selwyn Fernandes, Managing Director of car insurance at LV=, commented: "Every day, many grandparents provide invaluable help to their families by providing childcare. There will no doubt be countless car journeys made and in light of this research, we feel it's important to raise awareness of the law and help families understand the importance of it.

"In doing so, we hope to clear up the confusion and ensure grandparents feel more confident that they are driving their grandchildren safely and legally."

So what exactly do grandparents need to know?

UK car seat law: what you need to know

The law states that all children aged 12 and under must use a child car seat. If a child grows to more than 135 centimetres in height before they reach the age of 12, they can stop using the booster seat, but otherwise they must wait until their 12th birthday to travel in the car with only a seatbelt to protect them.

These laws are there for a reason - without them, children would be significantly more likely to be hurt in a car accident. While they may not think it's 'cool' to sit in a car seat at the age of 11-and-three-quarters, they need to know that they have to, and that grandma and granddad could get in a lot of trouble with the law if they don't.

If grandparents - or any drivers, in fact - are caught not following the recommended car seat regulations, they could be fined as much as £500, which puts the cost of a quality child's car seat well into perspective.

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