For most of us, it has been a long time since we proudly sported those "baby on board" signs. Now, we are headed to the next stage: grandparenting. When my kids were little, I was careful to make sure they were strapped into their car seats and then later, seat belts. But ferrying around grandchildren is a special responsibility. There are so many stories about car crashes involving older people that it's more than a little scary to have the little ones in the rear seat.
So I welcome a study in the August issue of the journal Pediatrics that says that grandparents may actually be less likely than parents to get into car crashes when there is a baby on board. Researchers looked at insurance databases and found that the risk of injury to children was actually half of what it was when parents were driving.
The researchers suggest that these results may reflect grandparents' more cautious driving habits because they are concerned about the safety of their grandchildren when they are in the unusual situation of driving them around. Parents, on the other hand, are more likely to feel that driving with kids is routine.
The study didn't say whether grandparents are safer drivers overall but it is good news for those of us who want more quality time with the next generation.
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