Children Safer When Riding With Grandparents, Study Says

You can say what you will about senior drivers, but their tendency to stick to slow speeds, and to drive cars loaded with safety features, may mean that your children are safer in a car with Grandpa at the wheel then with you.

At least, that’s what the American Academy of Pediatrics found in a study published in the August issue of their journal, Pediatrics. Specifically, their study showed that children in cars driven by grandparents are half as likely to be injured during a crash than they are if their own parents are driving.

The study looked at five years’ worth of information from vehicle accidents involving a total of 217.976 children under the age of fifteen. Using insurance claim data as well as the results of telephone interviews, the researchers calculated the risk of child-passenger injury.

Grandparents, the study showed, are 50% less less likely to cause children any significant injuries in car accidents, despite the fact that this same group of drivers is actually less likely to use child-safety restraints correctly, and more likely to let kids under five years old sit in the front seat, where smaller, lighter people can often experience severe injury just from the force of an airbag.

The study did not find a reason why grandparents seem to be safer drivers for children, but suggested it might be that they tend to use more caution when behind the wheel.

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