Kids Are Safer In The Car When Grandma Drives

To the delight of grandparents everywhere, it turns out that their claim that their grandchildren are safer when THEY drive the car might just be correct. It turns out that grandchildren are less likely to be injured in an auto accident when Grandma or Grandpa are the ones driving.

A study to be published August 1 in the journal Pediatrics reviewed insurance data on motor vehicle accidents from January 2003 to November of 2007 where at least one person under the age of 16 was in the car.  The data revealed surprising results: children appeared to be 50% less likely to be injured in an accident when the grandparents were driving than when the parents were driving. This held true even despite the fact that older adults (especially those over 65) are more likely overall to be involved in car crashes — and also despite the fact that grandparents appear to be less savvy at appropriate child automobile safety. Grandparents appeared more likely to misuse child restraint systems or even ignore safety rules overall (ie. putting a child in the front seat before they’ve reached appropriate height or weight or even seating a grandchild on their lap while driving.)

The study does point out various factors as to why kids are less likely to be injured when riding with grandparents. It’s possible that older people are more cautious drivers overall. It’s also possible that the reality of carrying “precious cargo” may cause them to purposely drive more cautiously.

What to take away from this? Feel relieved and reassured that your kids are in safe hands with Grandma and Grandpa driving the car — once you give them a brush-up on the appropriate use of child restraint systems while driving, of course.

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Photo Credit: Joe Shlabotnik on Flickr

30 comments

Terry V.
Terry V.3 years ago

noted

jane richmond
jane richmond4 years ago

Sent this to my daughter just to piss her off.

Laurie Greenberg
Laurie Greenberg4 years ago

Boy! The kid in the picture looks really ticked off. Who's driving HIM?

Hilary E.
Hilary E.4 years ago

Did anyone consider that grandparents drive the children a much much smaller percent of the time than parents...therefore statistically they are going to crash with grandchildren in the car less of the time. I really think that this study is just a waste of money. You either care about your precious cargo enough to do a good job or you don't.

clara H.
Clara Hamill4 years ago

I trust my grandma a lot to drive although she drove my grandpa crazy when he drove.

Don Lukenbill
Don L.4 years ago

What a crock. "It’s also possible that the reality of carrying “precious cargo” may cause them to purposely drive more cautiously." Yeah, I couldn't care less about my 4- and 11-year old daughters.

"This held true even despite the fact that older adults (especially those over 65) are more likely overall to be involved in car crashes — and also despite the fact that grandparents appear to be less savvy at appropriate child automobile safety. Grandparents appeared more likely to misuse child restraint systems or even ignore safety rules overall." And yet kids are 50 percent safer that with someone who intimately knows about child car safety because they drive their kids every day.

Please.

Jennifer M.
Jennifer M.4 years ago

It's cause grandparents don't talk and text while driving!! They also aren't constantly in a hurry thinking they "need" to drive 90mph to make it somewhere on time. Better late than never, as my grandma would say!

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W.4 years ago

interesting

Sheila D.
Sheila D.4 years ago

Interesting article. Personally, I know I was safer with my grandmother than with either of my parents when growing up, and that was quite some time ago. As my parents got older, they became much more conscientious when they had any passengers, especially children. So it just makes sense. I think most people get less stressed, less hurried, and more careful as they age, especially after retirement. Thanks for sharing.

Danuta W.
Danuta Watola4 years ago

Thanks for this article.